Innovation Asset Blog

Judge refuses to reduce $1.17 billion verdict in Carnegie Mellon patent verdict

Marvell Technology Group Ltd received a jury verdict of $1.17 billion in a case in which it was found that the company infringed the intellectual property of Carnegie Mellon University. Marvell subsequently countered, asking a federal judge to cut the award by about $620 million on the basis that the university delayed its lawsuit to an unreasonable degree.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh denied Marvell's claims. Fischer wrote that Carnegie Mellon had sufficient evidence of Marvell's possible infringement of its intellectual property to make a legal claim in 2003, six years before the lawsuit was filed in 2009. However, she asserted Marvell did not show a "sufficient nexus between its capital expenditures and CMU's delays in this case." She found Marvell did not meet its "burden to demonstrate economic prejudice" in the case.

The $1.17 billion award is the third-largest U.S. patent litigation award since 1995, according to Reuters. The patents in the case were issued in 2001 and 2002, and related to the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks. In March 2009, Carnegie Mellon filed a lawsuit claiming at least nine Marvell circuit products incorporated the patents. After the original verdict, Marvell stopped using the patented technology in its chips, but sales of products that infringe the university's intellectual property are expected to continue through 2014, according to Reuters.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.