Power Electronics

SynQor Withdraws Motion to Enjoin Vicor Bus Converters

Vicor Corporation announced that on May 13, 2011, SynQor withdrew its motion to enjoin the manufacture and sale of Vicor Bus Converters. Three months after filing its motion, and after three rounds of briefings and extensive expedited discovery, SynQor unilaterally withdrew its motion against Vicor one week prior to a scheduled Court hearing.

Power system architects confront ever-increasing power density and cooling challenges. They can continue to capture competitive advantages enabled by Vicor's product line of pin-compatible bricks, which achieve up to 98% peak efficiency while facilitating air flow and thermal management.

Following a December 2010 trial in a prior patent infringement case brought by SynQor against 11 manufacturers of commodity bus converter modules, a U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas on January 24, 2011 issued an injunction prohibiting those manufacturers from selling unregulated or semi-regulated bus converters in the U.S. market. On January 28, 2011, SynQor sued Ericsson, Cisco and Vicor alleging infringement of the same patent claims. On February 8, 2011, SynQor filed a motion asking the Texas Court to enjoin Ericsson and Vicor from manufacturing and selling bus converter products that it accused of infringement.

At the December trial, SynQor represented to the jury that Vicor Bus Converters did not provide a non-infringing alternative to the products made by the defendants in that case, and contended, in essence, that it owned the entire Intermediate Bus Architecture market. In making this argument, SynQor failed to tell the jury that, unlike the "square wave" converters made by the defendants in that case, Vicor Sine Amplitude Converters are resonant converters, a class of converters that SynQor had expressly distinguished from its alleged invention before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

In opposing SynQor's preliminary injunction motion, Vicor demonstrated, and SynQor did not dispute, that its Sine Amplitude Converters were "full-resonant" converters. Vicor also demonstrated that its Sine Amplitude Converter products utilize a fundamentally different power conversion topology than disclosed and claimed in SynQor's patents. Vicor also provided compelling evidence that SynQor's claims were invalid over prior art that had never been considered in the earlier case. Faced with overwhelming evidence that Vicor did not infringe any valid claim of SynQor's patents, SynQor suddenly withdrew its injunction motion, avoiding the Court's scheduled hearing.

Vicor values its Intellectual Property and respects the Intellectual Property of others. However, Vicor also believes that abuse of patent rights undermines fair competition and product innovation. Although Vicor has successfully defeated SynQor's effort to block the sale of its superior bus converter products at a time when SynQor's patent claims preclude competition by square wave converters, Vicor intends to continue its challenge to the validity of SynQor's patents.

Currently, all of the claims that SynQor asserted against Vicor stand rejected by the PTO in reexamination proceedings initiated by one of the defendants in SynQor's prior infringement suit. However SynQor has indicated its intention to have those proceedings stayed or terminated in light of the verdict in the prior suit. To make sure that the PTO has an adequate opportunity to fully consider and finally rule on the invalidity of SynQor's claims, Vicor intends to file its own request that the U.S. Patent Office reexamine the SynQor patents to confirm their invalidity based on the evidence upon which the PTO has already rejected SynQor's claims, as well as additional evidence uncovered by Vicor. A final determination of invalidity of the SynQor patents will enable competition in the IBA market based on the relative performance and cost attributes of a variety of non-infringing products.

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