HP hopes to lower damages in patent dispute

HP has appealed the latest judgement in a long-running battle with Cornell.

After a court reduced the amount a jury said Hewlett-Packard should pay Cornell University in a patent dispute, HP filed an appeal, apparently hoping for a further reduction or a reversal of the infringement decision.

On March 30, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York reduced the amount a jury said HP should pay Cornell University and the Cornell Research Foundation from US$184 million to $53 million.

HP filed an appeal of the lowered judgment on Friday.

The dispute centers on a patent issued for technology created by a Cornell professor, Hwa Torng, in 1983. Cornell initially filed its complaint in 2001 and sought $575 million from HP. Last June, a jury found that HP infringed the patent and should pay $184 million in damages for doing so.

The technology behind the patent enables processors to handle multiple instructions at the same time and reduce data dependency between instruction sets. Processors originally handled instructions one at a time and each instruction set was dependent on the next, but Torng's invention cut that bottleneck, which helped speed up computers.

Cornell alleges that HP infringes that patent in its PA-8000 family of microprocessors as well as servers and workstations that use those processors. Since the patent expired on February 21, 2006, the dispute does not affect future sales of HP products, HP said.

Cornell did not immediately offer comment on this latest appeal in the case.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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