US Federal Judge Asked To Triple Marvell Verdict

May 2, 2013

Carnegie Mellon University asked a federal judge on Wednesday [May 1] to triple the $1.17 billion jury verdict that chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. was ordered to pay in December for patent infringement.

During a hearing in a Pittsburgh court, Marvell’s attorneys at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan countered that the verdict should be slashed to as little as $10 million. They said about $1 billion of the jury’s award is based on sales made outside of the country that should not factor into a US patent infringement verdict.

The judgment against Marvell, whose chips are used for reading and writing data on hard-disk drives, is one of the biggest ever by a US jury in a patent case.

The verdict came months after Apple Inc was awarded $1.05 billion against Samsung Electronics in a high-profile California federal court trial over smartphone design last August. In March, however, the judge overseeing that case sliced the award by 40 percent and set a new trial to determine damages.

The Apple case might factor into US District Judge Nora Barry Fischer’s interpretation of “objective willfulness,” a requirement for enhancing the size of a jury verdict.

Arguments will continue today.

Marvell is based in Hamilton, Bermuda. Its US operating unit Marvell Semiconductor Inc is based in Santa Clara, California, and was also a defendant in the case.

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