Business

Chip maker Marvell must pay over $1B in Carnegie Mellon patent case

Marvell Technology Group is best known for making chips for a wide variety of devices — and it’s in hot water with Carnegie Mellon University. A Pittsburgh jury today found that Marvell has to pay around $1.17 billion in damages for infringing on two of the university’s patents.

Additionally, the jury found that the Marvell’s infringement was willful, which could lead U.S. District Court judge Nora Barry Fischer to triple the damages claim, reports Reuters. Marvell shares fell as much as 12.8 percent after the news hit.

Both of the Carnegie Mellon patents involved the use of “noise predictive detection” in high-speed hard disks. K&L Gates, the law firm representing Carnegie Mellon, said that Marvell had sold billions of chips that implemented the university’s technology without a license.

Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell back in 2009 for infringing on the two patents, and today’s verdict came after a month-long trial in Pittsburgh. Marvell, unsurprisingly, tried to argue that the patents were invalid, so it couldn’t have infringed on them. The jury didn’t buy that reasoning.


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