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Judge adds $366 million to patent award in CMU's favor [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette :: ]
[April 01, 2014]

Judge adds $366 million to patent award in CMU's favor [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette :: ]

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 01--A federal judge late Monday added $366 million to a billion-dollar-plus patent infringement award won by Carnegie Mellon University in a five-year-old lawsuit against Marvell Technology Group.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer's 72-page order responded to motions by CMU filed after a December 2012 trial.

At that trial, a jury found that Marvell willfully infringed on computer chip technology patented by CMU professor Jose Moura and then-student Alek Kavcic to increase the accuracy with which hard-disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.

The jury awarded $1.17 billion, reflecting royalties of 50 cents per chip sold by Marvell during the period of the infringement. Judge Fischer added $79.55 million to reflect damages incurred since the jury's judgment.

CMU sought to have the judgment tripled, to more than $3.7 billion, because Marvell's infringement was found to be willful. Judge Fischer decided instead to add 23 percent to the verdict to reflect willfulness, reflecting what she called an "intermediate sanction," higher than that argued by Marvell but lower than CMU's proposal. She wrote that she considered "Marvell's level of culpability and ... an amount its business is able to sustain with its ongoing operations." The dollar value of the sanction is $287 million. That, along with the post-judgment damages, brings the total to $1.53 billion.

Judge Fischer also imposed post-judgment interest of 0.14 percent and an ongoing royalty of 50 cents per infringing chip sold in the future.

Attorneys for both sides have said that many aspects of the trial, damage award and post-trial rulings will be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which reviews patent law decisions.

Judge Fischer noted in prior rulings that Marvell used the technology to bring in $10.34 billion in revenue and $5.05 billion in profit.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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