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Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

October 25, 2018

POWER INTEGRATIONS, INC. Plaintiff,
v.
FAIRCHILD SEMICONDUCTOR INTERNATIONAL INC., FAIRCHILD SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, and FAIRCHILD TAIWAN CORPORATION, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          HONORABLE LEONARD P. STARK JUDGE.

         At Wilmington this 25th day of October, 2018:

         Having reviewed the proposed pretrial order submitted by Plaintiff Power Integrations, Inc. ("PI" or "Plaintiff") and Defendants Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc., Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, and Fairchild (Taiwan) Corporation ("Fairchild" or "Defendants") (D.I. 968, 969) ("PTO"), and subsequent submissions (D.I. 977, 978, 979, 980), IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

         1. PI's motion in limine ("MIL") No. 1, to preclude Fairchild from introducing evidence or argument regarding patents no longer at issue in this case, is GRANTED. Whether PI continued to manufacture, market, and sell its products after they were found at one point to infringe a Fairchild patent is not relevant to whether Fairchild's actions with respect to its products after they were found to infringe PI's patents qualify as willful infringement. Even were such evidence to be at all probative of whether Fairchild willfully infringes, the risk of unfair prejudice to PI and of juror confusion - by introducing the jury to prior litigation between the parties, prior jury infringement findings, and the existence and outcome of appellate proceedings - substantially outweigh any relevance.

         Fairchild makes the following assertion: "/f PI argues that a responsible company should automatically cease selling accused products upon receipt of a complaint, during the pendency of the litigation, or after an infringement verdict, PI's parallel conduct is relevant and properly admissible under Rules 402 and 403 to support the assertion that Fairchild's continued sales do not demonstrate a reckless disregard or willfulness." (PTO Ex. 12A Fairchild's Opp. at 1) (emphasis added) If PI does so, Fairchild will have an opportunity to seek appropriate relief. Both sides should understand that the Court's pretrial rulings are subject to reevaluation should a party open the door and materially alter the considerations the Court had before it prior to trial.

         2. PI's MIL No. 2, to preclude Fairchild from relying upon any advice of counsel or theoretical defenses, will be argued at the pretrial conference ("PTC") tomorrow.

         3. PI's MIL No. 3, to preclude Fairchild from relying on PI's license agreements with its Cayman Islands subsidiaries and from introducing evidence that these licenses were part of a tax strategy, will be argued at the PTC.

         4. Fairchild's MIL No. 1, to preclude PI from referring to the existence of, outcomes in, and alleged bad acts specific to other litigations between the parties, will be argued at the PTC.

         5. Fairchild's MIL No. 2, to preclude PI from using the term "infringing product," is GRANTED. The parties agree that the accused products at issue in this case have been found to infringe PI's asserted United States patents if and when they are used or sold in the U.S. (See, e.g., PTO Ex. 13B Fairchild's Mot. at 3 ("Defendants agree that the jury should be instructed that products-at-issue infringe i/they enter the United States."); id Power's Opp. at 1 ("Power agrees that the jury can and must be instructed that infringement only occurs when the products are imported, sold, or used in the United States.")) While the Court does not intend to micromanage counsel's and witnesses' language at trial, the Court concludes that terms such as "relevant products" or "products-at-issue" will eliminate any risk of confusing or inflaming the jury. The jury will be instructed (including during preliminary instructions) as to what is in dispute (and which PI must prove; i.e., "whether, when, and how much product entered the United States, who brought it to the United States, and whether Defendants induced any infringing activity by those parties") (PTO Ex. 13B Fairchild's Mot. at 1) (see also Proposed Preliminary Jury Instructions, D.I. 975 at 11-12) and what is not disputed in this trial (that the products-at-issue do infringe if they enter the U.S.).

         6. Fairchild's MIL No. 3, to preclude PI from introducing prior testimony, is DENIED AS MOOT. (See D.I. 977 ¶ 3)

         The Court has identified other disputes in the PTO and, with respect to them, orders as follows:

         1. The Court sees no need to decide which party's proposed ¶ 3 more appropriately states aspects of the prior history of this litigation. Should either party feel that this dispute requires resolution, that party should raise the issue at the PTC.

         2. The Court ADOPTS Fairchild's proposal for ¶ 12: the list of uncontested facts will not be admitted as an exhibit but either party may, with notice to the other party, read some or all of the ...


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