Marvell ordered to pay $1.17 billion in patent case

The award to Carnegie Mellon University is one of the largest ever in a patent case

A jury in Pennsylvania has ordered chip maker Marvell Technology to pay $1.17 billion for patent infringement in one of the largest awards of its kind.

The jury found that Marvell infringed two patents related to hard disk drive technology held by Carnegie Mellon University, court papers show. Marvell infringed the patents knowingly, the jury found, meaning the damages could potentially be tripled.

The jury reached its decision Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The award is one of the largest ever granted in a patent case. It follows an award of $1.05 billion against Samsung earlier this year in a patent case over smartphones.

Marvell, which has headquarters in Santa Clara, California, could not immediately be reached for comment. The company has said in regulatory filings that it would appeal any decision against it.

As well as infringing the patents itself, Marvell was found to have contributed to infringement by its customers as well.

Marvell makes chips used in hard disk drives, wireless equipment and other products. Like other component suppliers, it's financial results have been hit lately by the slowdown in the PC market.

Carnegie filed its lawsuit in early 2009. The patents cover a "method and apparatus for correlation-sensitive adaptive sequence detection" and "soft and hard sequence detection in ISI memory channels." They are U.S. Patent numbers 6,201,839 and 6,438,180, awarded in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

"We appreciate the willingness of the jurors to give us their time and attention during this holiday season to hear our case," Carnegie said in a statement.

The case involved "fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high speed magnetic disks," Carnegie said. The technology was developed by Jose Moura, a professor in the University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former student of Moura who is now a professor at the University of Hawaii.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Carnegie Mellon UniversityMarvell Technology Groupintellectual propertylegalpatent

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?