Opticurrent LLC wins NDCal patent infringement litigation against Power Integrations Inc.
San Francisco, California – Feb. 26, 2019 — On Feb. 25, 2019, the law firm of Friedman, Suder & Cooke obtained a jury verdict in San Francisco federal court against Power Integrations, Inc. (POWI: NASDAQ) for patent infringement of US 6,958,623 patent. The ‘623 patent is a design for an energy efficient power conversion switch. The inventor, Jim Congdon, graduated from Stanford with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and has spent his decades-long career focused on the inventing and productization of power design circuits. Mr. Congdon is the inventor on over ten US, Canadian and European patents; in 2012, his patent portfolio moved to a dedicated intellectual property licensing entity, Opticurrent, LLC.
The jury unanimously found both literal infringement and infringement by equivalents. Damages awarded were for a 3% running royalty, totaling $6.7M for past units shipped through March, 2018. Future damages, including possible enhancement, are expected through the life of the patent which expires in 2022. In addition, several other POWI products belonging to the same families as the infringing products, were excluded from this litigation but will be the subject of a further infringement action. In total, Opticurrent estimates the total value of this award to be in excess of $20M.
POWI, represented by Fish & Richardson did not submit the issue of validity to the jury even though it raised invalidity as a defense.
Lead counsel for Opticurrent, Jonathan Suder, argued that the case was about respect, which the jury verdict validates. Said Suder, “Jim Congdon is a true inventor. He invested in, and trusted the patent system and until this moment, it’s been a difficult road of not enough resources and a long time to get the satisfaction of recognition . Our constitution is designed to promote and protect both inventors and their inventions and does not distinguish between practicing and non-practicing inventors. Without the help of investors, including his brother and other friends, Jim’s patent could never have stood up to a powerful corporation like Power Integrations. This verdict, from the Northern District of California, shows that all inventors must be respected no matter how big or small they are.”
Brad Brunell, the Managing Member of Opticurrent added “We are grateful that the process has recognized the value of Jim Congdon’s invention and really, of his whole life’s work. Power Integrations refused to take a license without being held accountable via a judicial outcome.”
The case was tried before The Honorable Judge Edward Chen and styled Opticurrent, LLC v. Power Integrations, Inc., Case Number 3:17-cv-03597-EMC.
With Suder for Friedman, Suder & Cooke were Corby Vowell and Dave Gunter, shareholders in the firm.