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January 02, 2013

Marvell Technology Has to Pay $1.17B in Historic Patent Verdict Involving Carnegie Mellon University

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Marvell (News - Alert) Technology has to pay $1.17 billion to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) after it was found that the company infringed on two university patents.

It marks one of the largest awards ever in a U.S. patent trial, after a month-long trial in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

In addition, because the jury found that Marvell's patent infringement was “willful,” Judge Nora Barry Fischer could triple damages to almost $3.96 billion, according to Reuters News Service.

In response to the news, shares of Marvell dropped 10.3 percent on Wednesday.

The final judgment in the case will be held on May 1.

In a statement, Marvell and Marvell Semiconductor (MSI (News - Alert)) disagreed with the verdict and claimed they used “their own patented read channel technology developed in house.”

There will likely be an appeal of the verdict.

“There are strong grounds for appeal and Marvell and MSI will seek to overturn the verdict in post-trial motions before the District Court and, if necessary, to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.,” according to a company statement. “Marvell and MSI intend to vigorously challenge the judgment through all appropriate post trial motions and appeal processes.”

Marvell has requested a mistrial in the case as well.

In a review of the verdict, law professor Dennis Crouch wrote on PatentlyO that during the trial there was “an old email from a Seagate (News - Alert) engineer noting that the CMU invention went well beyond the current state of the art,” which was presented as evidence.

In considering whether there was “particular willfulness” the jury found that Marvell knew about the “asserted patent before the lawsuit; had no reasonable defense for its actions; and knew or should have known that its actions were infringing,” Couch reported.

In addition, Marvell and MSI said there will likely not be any disruption to their business or to their customers from the ruling, TMCnet reported.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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