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Court: Marvell infringing drive patents, owes $1.17 billion

updated 06:05 pm EST, Wed December 26, 2012

Storage technology patents held by Carnegie Mellon University

Designer and manufacturer of peripheral controller chips Marvell Technology Group has been found be be infringing on two patents held by Carnegie Mellon University. The manufacturer has been ordered to pay $1.17 billion in damages by the jury, and has been found to be willful in its violation, potentially leading to a tripling of damages by the Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

Marvell was originally accused of infringing two patents related to hard drive controller boards, associated with "noise predictive detection," which is used to increase accuracy in retrieving data from magnetic platter hard drives. The verdict affirms that Marvell had sold billions of chips with the Carnegie Mellon-owned technology without being licensed to do so.

Marvell claimed that it was not infringing, and alleged that the patent was invalid based on Carnegie Mellon not submitting all the information about the patent during the patent application process. The company has not responded to a request for comment on the verdict or proceedings of the month-long trial.

On the news, Marvell stock has fallen nearly 13 percent. The company's largest purchasers are hard drive manufacturers Western Digital and Seagate.




by MacNN Staff

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