Monday, April 27, 2015

Prior Finding of Willfulness Does Not Support New Willful Infringement Claim as to Modified Products

The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment that it did not willfully infringe defendant's power converter patent and rejected defendant's argument regarding a finding in a previous action that plaintiff was willful. "[Defendant's] efforts to defeat [plaintiff's] motion are unavailing. They rest principally on purportedly 'striking ... parallels' between the willfulness issue here and that involved in . . . an earlier case in which [plaintiff] was found to be a willful infringer. [Defendant] insists that '[plaintiff] is an adjudged copier as to the [prior] accused products, which remain essentially unchanged.' The Court finds these contentions unconvincing, at least in the context of an objective recklessness analysis for purposes of willfulness. By [defendant's] implicit concession (in describing the new products as only 'essentially,' but not entirely, unchanged), the accused products are changed from what was found to infringe in the earlier case. As [plaintiff] observes, '[the earlier case] involved different products and different litigation positions.' [Plaintiff] reasonably contends that it believes its changes are material and render the now-accused products non-infringing."

Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, et al v. Power Integrations Inc., 1-12-cv-00540 (DED April 23, 2015, Order) (Stark, J.)

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