Federal Judge Refuses to Reduce Marvell's $1.17 Billion Patent Infringement Fine

Paul Lilly

Marvell hoped to have its $1.17 billion fine cut in half

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh listened to Marvell argue why a jury verdict against the company to the tune of $1.17 billion should be cut in half, but was ultimately unmoved by the company's reasoning. The massive fine is to be paid to Carnegie Mellon University, which is also located in Pittsburgh, for infringing on two hard disk drive (HDD) patents issued in 2001 and 2002.

The original verdict dates back to December 2012 and is the third-largest U.S. patent litigation award since 1995, Reuters reports . Marvell had sought to overturn or at least reduce the damages award based on its claim that Carnegie Mellon had knowledge of the infringing patents six years before filing the lawsuit in 2009.

Carnegie Mellon responded to Marvell's claims by saying that at best, it only heard "rumors" or "suspicions" that its patents were being infringed, therefore the delay in suing Marvell was reasonable.

The two patents have to do with how accurately HDD circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks. Even though Marvell began removing the technology from its chips after the verdict, infringing sales are likely to continue throughout 2014, Judge Fischer said in her decision. Furthermore, Fischer said that the subject of issuing even more penalties "will be determined in a later decision."

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