Marvell Technology Group argues to pay less in damages for infringing on CMU patent
A $1.17 billion verdict is a “big number” but that alone doesn't justify reducing an award, a lawyer for Carnegie Mellon University argued Wednesday in the first of two days of post-verdict motion hearings in the university's patent case against a Bermuda-based chip manufacturer.
The law allows a judge to reduce a verdict that “shocks the conscience,” but if Marvell Technology Group Ltd pays the damages, it will still realize more than $4 billion in operating profits from the more than $10 billion it made from computer chips that used the university's patents, Patrick J. McElhinny said.
“That's not a shocking result when you put it in context,” he said.
A nine-person federal jury on Dec. 26 ruled that Marvell produced chips since 2003 that infringed on two patents CMU holds for noise-detection technology used in computer hard drives. The damage amount is based on a royalty of 50 cents for each of the 2.2 billion chips the company sold.
While Marvell contests the entire verdict, it argued Wednesday that, at the least, U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer should reduce the damages to the number of chips it says were used inside the United States.
At most, that number could be about 557 million chips but actually should be 329 million, which would reduce damages to about $165 million, said Kathleen M. Sullivan, one of Marvell's attorneys.
“All the chips in the case are produced outside the United States,” she said. “The question is which chips came into the United States.”
In addition to disputing the number of chips subject to the royalty calculation, Marvell claims a more reasonable royalty is 3 cents per chip, which would bring the damages down to $9.9 million, Sullivan said.
McElhinny countered that the question is the infringing activity that led to the sales of the chips, and that activity happened inside the country, mainly at Marvell's U.S. headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.
“The damage award is solidly rooted in the United States,” he said.
As for the rate, Marvell waived that argument when it didn't challenge it during the trial, he said.
CMU is asking Fischer to enhance the damages — up to tripling them — to punish Marvell for willfully infringing on its patents.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or 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.
- $500K grant to fund bike sharing comes through for Pittsburgh
- With Pittsburgh charges, feds target Uganda-based counterfeiting ring
- Strip District merchants say pay stations will drive out shoopers relying on free spots
- Motivation in slaying of Penn Hills couple remains unclear
- Tax exemptions cost Allegheny County governments $620M, auditor general reports
- Newsmaker: Gregory Reed
- Pittsburgh Public Schools adopts no-tax-increase budget for 2015
- Inspections will force Liberty Bridge lane closures on Friday
- PennDOT to begin changing Glenbury Street Friday, part of Route 51/ 88 intersection rehab
- Pennsylvania constables need oversight to reduce problems, officials say
- Lawyer quits Scaife case over possible conflict as PNC defends distributions