Jury awards CMU $1.169 billion in patent violations case
A Pittsburgh federal jury on Wednesday awarded Carnegie Mellon University one of the largest patent damage awards in the country in a lawsuit over a Bermuda-based chip manufacturer's use of the university's technology.
But the $1.169 billion verdict marks the halfway point in a lengthy litigation battle, two lawyers said.
“We're disappointed, obviously, by the verdict,” said Steven G. Madison, one of the Los Angeles-based attorneys defending Marvell Technology Group Ltd. against CMU's claims.
The verdict came after four weeks of testimony in U.S. District Court, Downtown, but Madison said the case is far from over. Marvell has several pending motions that include asking for a mistrial based on comments the university's attorney made in closing statements. It also challenges the method CMU used for calculating damages and the sufficiency of the evidence on which the jury based its verdict.
“It's like halftime,” Madison said of the case.
Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell in 2009 over chips used in high-speed computer hard drives that enable accurate reading of the data on the drives.
In a ruling that could triple the damages, the jury also determined that the company, whose U.S. operations are based in Santa Clara, Calif., violated the university's patents knowingly.
Michael Madison, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who studies patent law and is not related to Steven Madison, confirmed the award is one of the largest but said it might not stand.
“Unless the case settles, maybe it's halftime,” he said. “Maybe it's just the end of the first quarter.”
A team of lawyers from the K&L Gates firm in Pittsburgh and Seattle represented Carnegie Mellon.
“We take special pride in this trial victory because of the decades-long relationship between our firm and Carnegie Mellon University and our deep appreciation for CMU's path-breaking and leadership role in the information age,” said Peter J. Kalis, K&L Gates' chairman and global managing partner.
Mark Lemley, a Stanford University professor who tracks patent verdicts, said this one is the largest surviving verdict in a patent case.
There have been at least two larger patent verdicts, one for $1.67 billion and one for $1.52 billion, but both were overturned, according to Lex Machina, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that tracks patent litigation.
About half of the 2.34 billion chips Marvell sold between 2003 and 2012 went to hard drive manufacturer Western Digital, according to court documents.
Jose Moura, a CMU professor, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former doctorate student of Moura's, developed the technology with support from a CMU research center that collaborates with industry on real-world problems, the university said in a statement after the verdict.
The university believes protecting such discoveries is important, the statement said.
“We did not undertake this suit lightly and once we undertook it we did not pursue it lightly,” CMU said.
The nine-member jury began deliberations on Friday afternoon, broke for the Christmas holidays and resumed on Wednesday morning. Jurors returned with their verdict shortly after noon.
They unanimously found for the university on all 14 of its patent infringement claims against Marvell and rejected Marvell's counterclaims that the CMU patents were invalid.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer scheduled a May 1 hearing on pending motions in the case.
Brian Bowling is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He canbe reached at 412-325-4301or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mother, baby found dead in Millvale apartment
- Suit alleges Carrick group home where teen was killed was negligent
- Weather continues to cause crashes, public transportation delays
- 100 without water in Baldwin Borough and Brentwood, repairs hampered by cold
- Code enforcement worker apparently settles civil rights complaint against Wilkinsburg
- Loose barges on Monongahela River highlight woes of winter’s end
- Volunteer potters lend time for Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser
- Federal jury says gas company shorted owners on royalties
- Minority employment report: Diversified workforce lacking in Western Pa.
- Power outage shutters several Pitt campus buildings
- Police looking for Duquesne man they say assaulted 13-year-old girl