Power-One has announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, has completed the Markman hearing and issued its claim construction ruling on March 22. According to Power-One, the ruling decides a number of important issues in favor of Power-One and strengthens the company’s patent infringement claims as it proceeds to a jury trial. The court's ruling rejects a defense raised by Artesyn Technologies (a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co.) that Power-One's patents are invalid as being indefinite.
The court denied Artesyn's defense by finding that the claim term point-of-load ("POL") regulator, which is an integral part of all the patent claims, has a legally definite meaning. The court ruled that POLs are a "known device in the art," and that "this evidence plainly suggests that POLs were well known devices whose locations and functions relative to other components was understood by those of ordinary skill in the art."
For the hotly contested claim term POL, the court wholly adopted Power-One's claim construction, finding that Power-One was legally correct. The court also established the meaning of numerous other contested terms in the patent claims. A significant majority were construed in favor of the definitions proposed by Power-One.
Bill Yeates, CEO, commented, "The court's ruling is a big positive for our litigation and validates our belief in the broad meaning and scope of our patent claims. We have asserted in the litigation that Artesyn infringes 82 claims in 4 patents. This ruling provides very substantial support for our assertion that Artesyn is infringing Power-One's patents with its PMBus-compliant DPL20C point of load converter. We fully expect the jury to find that Artesyn is infringing our patents when the trial is held in August".
The four Power-One patents in the lawsuit generally concern digital power management and control of POLs on the circuit board. Power-One has incorporated this technology into its Z-One products and system architecture. Power-One is seeking an injunction to stop Artesyn from selling infringing products, along with other remedies. Trial is scheduled for August 2007.