Marvell ordered to pay $1.17 billion in patent case

The award to Carnegie Mellon University is one of the largest ever in a patent case

A jury in Pennsylvania has ordered chip maker Marvell Technology to pay $1.17 billion for patent infringement in one of the largest awards of its kind.

The jury found that Marvell infringed two patents related to hard disk drive technology held by Carnegie Mellon University, court papers show. Marvell infringed the patents knowingly, the jury found, meaning the damages could potentially be tripled.

The jury reached its decision Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The award is one of the largest ever granted in a patent case. It follows an award of $1.05 billion against Samsung earlier this year in a patent case over smartphones.

Marvell, which has headquarters in Santa Clara, California, could not immediately be reached for comment. The company has said in regulatory filings that it would appeal any decision against it.

As well as infringing the patents itself, Marvell was found to have contributed to infringement by its customers as well.

Marvell makes chips used in hard disk drives, wireless equipment and other products. Like other component suppliers, it's financial results have been hit lately by the slowdown in the PC market.

Carnegie filed its lawsuit in early 2009. The patents cover a "method and apparatus for correlation-sensitive adaptive sequence detection" and "soft and hard sequence detection in ISI memory channels." They are U.S. Patent numbers 6,201,839 and 6,438,180, awarded in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

"We appreciate the willingness of the jurors to give us their time and attention during this holiday season to hear our case," Carnegie said in a statement.

The case involved "fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high speed magnetic disks," Carnegie said. The technology was developed by Jose Moura, a professor in the University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former student of Moura who is now a professor at the University of Hawaii.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalintellectual propertypatentCarnegie Mellon UniversityMarvell Technology Group

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?