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Chief Judge Stark Addresses Erroneous Jury Instruction

Chief Judge Stark recently was faced with a motion for final judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 58 following a jury verdict of induced infringement. The parties in the case agreed that the instruction given to the jury on inducement was erroneous in light of a related litigation between the same parties in which the Federal Circuit had ruled that the same instruction was erroneous. The patentee, Power Integrations, however, had not objected to the identical instruction in this case. Judge Stark, nonetheless, concluded that “in the unusual circumstances presented here its induced infringement instruction was plain error” and “it would be a manifest injustice . . . to uphold[ the] jury verdict.” Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., et al. v. Power Integrations, Inc., C.A. No. 12-540-LPS, Memo. Op. at 1-11 (D. Del. Mar. 16, 2018). Moreover, because “the Court [had] already determined that the jury instruction on active inducement was plain error that was prejudicial to Fairchild, resulting in a miscarriage of justice . . . [and] the Court [did] not believe it is highly probable that the error did not contribute to the judgment . . . [the Court therefore] order[ed] a new jury trial on the issues of induced infringement of the ’359 patent and damages.” Id. at 11-13.

Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., et al. v. Power Integrations, Inc., C.A. No. 12-540-LPS (D. Del. Mar. 16, 2018)

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