Friday, October 2, 2009

Linear wins ITC Consent Order against Advanced Analogic

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Linear Technology Corporation (Nasdaq:LLTC), a leading supplier of high-performance analog integrated circuits, today announced that the judge issued a consent order against Advanced Analogic Technologies, Inc. (AATI) in Linear’s enforcement proceeding at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC previously found that AATI violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing voltage regulator chips that infringe claims 2, 3, and 34 of Linear’s U.S. Patent No. 6,580, 258 (‘258 patent). These patent claims protect Linear’s “sleep mode” invention, comprising circuitry that significantly extends battery life for a wide range of portable electronic devices by allowing the device to “sleep” when little power is needed. Specifically, the ITC determined that AATI’s infringing products include AAT1143, AAT1123, AAT1125, AAT1126, AAT2500, AAT2506, AAT2510, AAT2511, and AAT2512. The Commission then issued an exclusion order barring importation of the named semiconductor products and any other AATI chips that infringe Linear’s patent claims.

Thereafter, Linear and AATI cross-appealed the ITC’s decision and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its opinion on May 21, 2009. The Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s decision that the AATI 1143 family of products infringe the Linear patent and that claims 2, 3, and 34 are valid and enforceable. Further, the Federal Circuit determined that the AATI 1146 family (an additional 15 AATI products) also infringe the Linear patent and are subject to the exclusion order. The Federal Circuit also vacated the Commission’s non-infringement finding regarding the three remaining products at issue—the AAT1151, AAT1156, and AAT1265 (now subject to the consent order).

The ITC also instituted, at Linear’s request, an enforcement proceeding (currently scheduled for early 2010) to determine whether AATI has violated the exclusion order. AATI has since agreed to a limited exclusion order which the judge presiding over the enforcement proceeding has entered by a consent order on September 9, 2009.