Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monolithic prevails over O2 Micro in patent dispute

Los Gatos,CA based Monolithic, a fabless manufacturer of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, said the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a finding by a district court the MPS inverter controllers at issue do not infringe Cayman Islands-based O2 Micro's patent on technology for CCFL inverter.

O2 Micro holds US 6,259,215 on a circuit for converting DC into AC.

Of significance, the trial was in ND Ca which has local rules for patent litigation, which in part require parties, early in litigation, to state theories of infringement and invalidity. The CAFC determined that the law of the CAFC (not of the Ninth Circuit) governed the CAFC analysis. The CAFC cited to Advanced Cardiovascular, 265 F.3d 1294.

The CAFC noted discovery is in part to allow plaintiff to pin down defendant's theories of defense.

The CAFC found there was a lack of diligence by O2 Micro in amending its theories.

Separately, in an errata issued on Nov. 15, the CAFC removed "scoop" and substituted
scope, in the case Akeva v. Adidas.


In Optimus v. Ion Beam, the CAFC dealt with California's unfair competition law, the Lanham Act, and patent law.

Of the patent aspect, the patentee lost (district court affirmed), although patentee argued that certain prior art if modified as suggested by the district court, would result in a death ray.

There are some issues about prior art. The CAFC cites In re Kahn, 441 F.3d 977 on motivation to combine in an obviousness determination.


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