Judge upholds $1.17 billion award for Carnegie Mellon University

Jan. 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM
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PITTSBURGH, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Pittsburgh turned down a request by Marvell Technology Group to cut a $1.17 billion verdict to $620 million in a patent violation case.

A jury awarded Carnegie Mellon University $1.17 billion after a five-year long lawsuit over technology that improves the performance of hard disk drive circuits when they are picking up data from magnetic disks, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.

U.S District Judge Nora Barry Fischer noted the technology developed by Jose Moura, a CMU professor, and Alek Kavcic, a former student, helped Marvell generate $10.34 billion in revenues and $5.05 billion in profit, the newspaper said.

Fischer said Marvell's knowing theft of the technology trumped the argument that the university had intentionally delayed in filing a lawsuit to increase the size of the judicial award.

The technology was developed at CMU between 1995 and 1998. Marvell then developed its own version of the technology from 2001 to 2003.

CMU contacted Marvell in 2003, but did not file a lawsuit until 2009, which Marvell argued was an intentional delay.

The delay was "not fair to Marvell," but the company did not prove that the university had purposefully baited Marvell into developing the product with the intent of suing later, Fischer concluded.

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