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Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 22, 2019

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

          Warren K. Mabey and Joseph B. Warden, FISH & RICHARDSON P.C., Wilmington, DE Frank E. Scherkenbach, FISH & RICHARDSON P.C., Boston, MA Howard G. Pollack, Michael R. Headley, and Neil A. Warren, FISH & RICHARDSON P.C., Redwood City, CA John W. Thornburgh, FISH & RICHARDSON P.C., San Diego, CA Attorneys for Plaintiff

          John G. Day and Andrew C. Mayo, ASHBY & GEDDES, Wilmington, DE Colette Reiner Mayer and Pieter Sebastian de Ganon, MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP, Palo Alto, CA Scott F. Llewellyn, MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP, Denver, CO Attorneys for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Stark, U.S. District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are the parties' post-trial motions. On November 15, 2018, during a three-day jury trial, Plaintiff Power Integrations, Inc. ("PI") and Defendants Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation and Fairchild (Taiwan) Corporation (collectively, "Fairchild") each filed Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law ("JMOL"). (D.I. 626, 629) On January 18, 2019, PI filed a Motion for Permanent Injunction (D.I. 678) and Fairchild filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or in the Alternative, a New Trial or Remittitur (D.I. 680). Briefing on the post-trial motions was completed on March 8, 2019. (D.I. 679, 682, 685, 686, 690, 691) The Court heard oral argument on April 5, 2019. (D.I. 694 ("Tr."))[1] The Court has decided to deny all of the motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case ("Fairchild III”) was filed in May 2012, the third in this District between these competitors. Following an eight-day jury trial in 2015, a jury found that Fairchild had directly and indirectly infringed claims 29 and 31 of PI's U.S. Patent No. 7, 995, 359 (the '"359 patent"). On appeal of a related case (C.A. No. 08-309)(“Fairchild II”), the Federal Circuit remanded for a new trial on inducement due to errors in the inducement jury instruction. Since the same jury instruction had been used in the 2015 trial in the instant action, this Court ordered a new trial on whether Fairchild induced infringement of the '359 patent. A three-day jury trial commenced on November 13, 2018, after which the jury returned a verdict of induced infringement and awarded PI $719, 029.10 in damages. (D.I. 631) Judgment was entered on December 27, 2018. (D.I. 637)

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Judgment as a Matter of Law

         Judgment as a matter of law is appropriate if "the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for [a] party" on an issue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a)(1). "Entry of judgment as a matter of law is a sparingly invoked remedy," one "granted only if, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and giving it the advantage of every fair and reasonable inference, there is insufficient evidence from which a jury reasonably could find liability." Marra v. Phila. Hous. Auth., 497 F.3d 286, 300 (3d Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         To prevail on a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law following a jury trial, the moving party "must show that the jury's findings, presumed or express, are not supported by substantial evidence or, if they were, that the legal conclusions implied [by] the jury's verdict cannot in law be supported by those findings." Pannu v. Iolab Corp., 155 F.3d 1344, 1348 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (internal quotation marks omitted). "'Substantial' evidence is such relevant evidence from the record taken as a whole as might be accepted by a reasonable mind as adequate to support the finding under review." Perkin-Elmer Corp. v. Computervision Corp., 732 F.2d 888, 893 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

         In assessing the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court must give the non-moving party, "as [the] verdict winner, the benefit of all logical inferences that could be drawn from the evidence presented, resolve all conflicts in the evidence in his favor, and in general, view the record in the light most favorable to him." Williamson v. Consol. Rail Corp., 926 F.2d 1344, 1348 (3d Cir. 1991); see also Perkin-Elmer Corp., 732 F.2d at 893. The Court may not assess the credibility of witnesses nor "substitute its choice for that of the jury between conflicting elements of the evidence." Perkin-Elmer Corp., 732 F.2d at 893. Rather, the Court must determine whether the evidence reasonably supports the jury's verdict. See Dawn Equip. Co. v. Ky Farms Inc., 140 F.3d 1009, 1014 (Fed. Cir. 1998); Gomez v. Allegheny Health Servs. Inc., 71 F.3d 1079, 1083 (3d Cir. 1995) (describing standard as "whether there is evidence upon which a reasonable jury could properly have found its verdict"); 9B Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2524 (3d ed. 2008) ("The question is not whether there is literally no evidence supporting the party against whom the motion is directed but whether there is evidence upon which the jury properly could find a verdict for that party.").

         B. New Trial

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a) provides in pertinent part, "[t]he court may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues - and to any party - as follows: ... after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court." New trials are commonly granted where "the jury's verdict is against the clear weight of the evidence, and a new trial must be granted to prevent a miscarriage of justice," where "newly-discovered evidence exists that would likely alter the outcome of the trial," where "improper conduct by an attorney or the court unfairly influenced the verdict," or where the jury's verdict was "facially inconsistent." Zarow-Smith v. N.J. Transit Rail Operations, 953 F.Supp. 581, 584-85 (D. N.J. 1997) (internal citations omitted).

         The decision to grant or deny a new trial is committed to the sound discretion of the district court. See Allied Chem. Corp. v. Daiflon, Inc.,449 U.S. 33, 36 (1980); Olefins Trading, Inc. v. Han Yang Chem Corp., 9 F.3d 282, 289 (3d Cir. 1993) (reviewing "district court's grant or denial of a new trial motion" under "abuse of discretion" standard). Although the standard for granting a new trial is less rigorous than the standard for granting judgment as a matter of law, in that the Court need not view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, ordinarily a new trial should only be granted "where a miscarriage of justice would result if the ...


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