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Chip manufacturer says judge should throw out CMU patent suit damages

| Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 11:09 a.m.

A federal judge should throw out at least $550 million of damages a jury awarded Carnegie Mellon University in a patent lawsuit because the university waited eight years to pursue its claim, a Bermuda-based chip manufacturer claims in court documents.

A university spokesman declined comment.

A nine-member federal jury in December ruled that Marvell Technology Group Ltd. infringed on two patents the university holds for noise detection technology used in computer hard drives.

The jury adopted the university's claim that the company owes it 50 cents for each chip it sold with the technology since 2002, which totals $1.17 billion.

The university is seeking interest on the award, attorney fees and an enhanced penalty for willful infringement by the company. If U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer grants CMU's request, she could triple the damage award and add up to $350 million for interest and attorney fees.

While denying infringement, Marvell claims that CMU knew about the technology it was using in its chips by 2001.

Instead of contacting the company or filing a lawsuit, the university waited while Marvell invested more time and money in developing its chips and the university's potential damage award grew, the company said.

The company is asking Fischer to limit damages to chips sold since 2009, when CMU sued. Marvell is seeking a new trial or a ruling by the judge that CMU did not prove its case.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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