By Erin Geiger Smith
Feb 11 Carnegie Mellon University is asking a
court to make Marvell Technology Group Ltd pay up to
three times the $1.17 billion jury verdict that the chipmaker
was ordered to pay in December for patent infringement.
The university filed papers Monday in U.S. District Court in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saying Marvell knew it was using
Carnegie Mellon patents wrongfully and should pay up to triple
damages as a result. Carnegie Mellon also is seeking $321
million in pre-judgment interest.
In its filing, Carnegie Mellon noted that the judge has
discretion on how to calculate any enhanced damages, and could
award less than triple the jury's award.
Marvell, whose chips are used for reading and writing data
on hard-disk drives, is seeking to overturn the jury's findings
that it infringed two Carnegie Mellon patents. The award is one
of the biggest by a U.S. jury in a patent case and follows the
$1.05 billion that Apple Inc was awarded against
Samsung Electronics in a case over smartphone design
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer has set a May 1
hearing to consider final judgment in the Marvell case.
Marvell did not immediately respond to a request for comment
on Monday. Attorney Mark Knedeisen of K&L Gates, who represents
the university, declined to comment.
Carnegie Mellon sued the chipmaker in March 2009 over
patents issued to the university in 2001 and 2002. The
Pittsburgh university said at least nine Marvell circuit devices
incorporated the patents, and that the infringement let the
company sell billions of chips using the technology without
In Monday's court papers, the university argued that Marvell
knowingly and repeatedly copied the university's patents. A
finding that a defendant acted willfully in patent cases allows
a court to impose damages of up to three times the jury verdict.
The university also said it is entitled to interest for the
period from March 2003 until Jan. 14 of this year, when the
court formally recognized the jury verdict. It has also asked
for unspecified interest for the period since the verdict.
Carnegie Mellon also asked the judge to issue a permanent
injunction to prevent Marvell from continuing to infringe its
The university said there is a risk Marvell will not pay the
judgment, noting that the company's regulatory filings do not
mention setting aside reserves to pay the university.
Marvell is based in Hamilton, Bermuda. Its U.S. operating
unit Marvell Semiconductor Inc is based in Santa Clara,
California, and was also a defendant in the case.
Marvell's shares fell more than 10 percent following the
Dec. 26 verdict, closing that day at $7.40. Since then, its
shares have climbed and closed up 9 cents at $9.55 on the Nasdaq
The case is Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology
Group, Ltd. et al, U.S. District Court for the Western District
of Pennsylvania, No. 09-00290.