University wins record $1.17 billion verdict against Marvell Semiconductor


flickr / BestBoyZ GmbH A Pittsburgh jury found that hard drive control chips made by Marvell Semiconductor infringe two patents owned by Carnegie Mellon University. Following a four-week trial in federal court, nine jurors unanimously held that Marvell should have to pay $1,169,140,271 in damages—the full sum that CMU’s lawyers had asked for. If the verdict holds up on appeal, it would wipe out more than a year of profits at Marvell, which made a bit over $900 million in 2011. It would also be the largest patent verdict in history, beating out this summer’s $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung for infringing patents and trademarks owned by Apple. The two CMU patents describe a way of reducing “noise” when reading information off hard disks. The jury found that Marvell’s chips infringed claim 4 of Patent No. 6,201,839 and claim 2 of Patent No. 6,438,180 . At trial, Marvell hotly contested that CMU had invented anything new; they argued that a Seagate patent , filed 14 months earlier, describes everything in CMU’s invention. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

University wins record $1.17 billion verdict against Marvell Semiconductor


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