Haynes and Boone Secures Rare Motion to Stay in Richtek Patent Reexam


Judge Halts Richtek Suit For Patent Re-Examination

A federal judge has stayed Richtek Technology Corp.'s suit accusing several of its competitors of infringing its intellectual property with their microchip products while the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office re-examines the three patents-in-suit.

Judge William Alsup granted a bid from co-defendants uPI Semiconductor Corp., Silicon Xtal Corp. and Sapphire Technology Ltd. to stay the case and denied Richtek’s request to file a motion for preliminary injunction in light of that stay in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday.

By granting the re-examination requests, the USPTO indicated that “a substantial new question of patentability” has been raised, the judge said.

If any of the patents’ claims are canceled or amended as a result of the re-examination, the suit’s claim construction and trial will be deeply impacted and may even end up being unnecessary for those claims, the judge said.

If the original claims survive the re-examination, the suit’s claim construction process would still be informed by the USPTO’s findings, according to the judge.

“Now that the re-examination train has left the station, all claim construction bets are off,” Judge Alsup wrote in Thursday’s order.

Judge Alsup further found that Richtek had not presented convincing evidence that the other defendants were importing and dealing in the allegedly infringing products.

The court has steadily trimmed Richtek’s claims in the suit since the Taiwanese company lodged its third amended complaint in September, nixing all breach of contract and trade secrets claims as well as a copyright claim against Maxchip. 

Haynes and Boone LLP represents uPI, Sapphire and Silicon Xtal.

Excerpted from Law360. To view the full article, click here.

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