WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2008) — Today, a unanimous jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware awarded total victory to McDermott client Linear Technology on its claim against Monolithic Power Systems for infringement of two energy saving voltage regulator patents that have seen wide industry acceptance. The jury found that Monolithic infringed all nine asserted claims of Linear's U.S. patents 5, 481,178 and 6,580,258, and also found that none of those claims are invalid. Linear sued Monolithic immediately after release of the accused Monolithic regulator product and Monolithic stopped selling while the case moved forward. In view of Monolithic's self-imposed 'preliminary injunction', its sales were minimal after commencement of the suit, so nominal damages were stipulated.
Monolithic's accused MP1543 product in this case was a follow-on product released not long after Linear's prior ITC complaint against an earlier Monolithic product was resolved by a Consent Order against Monolithic. In settling the prior ITC case, Monolithic also agreed to additional contractual undertakings regarding future products. Linear separately claimed that in addition to being a patent infringement, that post settlement product was a breach of the settlement. The breach of contract claim was denied by the judge and never reached the jury.
Linear Corporate and IP Attorney John England said, "We are gratified that the jury has recognized the validity of Linear's energy saving voltage regulator patents and has also found that Monolithic's second unjustified attempt to enter this field based on Linear's technology violates the Patent Laws. We respectfully disagree with the judge's determination that it does not also violate our previous settlement agreement and we plan to appeal that ruling. Linear continues to have a significant commitment to funding research and development of beneficial new technology."
The Delaware court will eventually schedule a separate hearing on Monolithic's assertion that even though the patents are valid and infringed, they are unenforceable for inequitable conduct in their procurement. Such charges have been unsuccessfully raised by other infringers of these patents.
Linear Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of high performance linear integrated circuits, was founded in 1981, became a public company in 1986 and joined the S&P 500 index of major public companies in 2000. Linear Technology products include high performance amplifiers, comparators, voltage references, monolithic filters, linear regulators, DC-DC converters, battery chargers, power supply modules, data converters, communications interface circuits, RF signal conditioning circuits, and many other analog functions. Applications for Linear Technology's high performance circuits include telecommunications, cellular telephones, networking products such as optical switches, notebook and desktop computers, computer peripherals, video/multimedia, industrial instrumentation, security monitoring devices, high-end consumer products such as digital cameras and MP3 players, complex medical devices, automotive electronics, factory automation, process control, and military and space systems. For more information, visit www.linear.com.