Marvell, after losing $1.17b patent case: “There are strong grounds for appeal”

Marvell, after losing $1.17b patent case: “There are strong grounds for appeal”

Chip maker Marvell earlier today issued a press release in response to a Wednesday federal jury ruling that would see it pay close to $1.17 billion for infringing two patents related to disk drives, held by Carnegie Mellon University. That would obviously be one hell of a fine.

Worse, the jury ruled that Marvell violated the patents intentionally, which means Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) can ask the judge to triple the damages.

Marvell and its U.S. operating subsidiary, MSI, evidently say they didn’t infringe on the two CMU-asserted patents, which claim a specific technique related to read channel detector technology. Marvell says that technique is not practiced by any of its chips.

In addition, Marvell says it strongly believes that “the theoretical methods described in these patents cannot practically be built in silicon even using the most advanced techniques available today, let alone with the technology available a decade ago”.

The company points out that it will thus seek to overturn the harsh verdict from the federal jury in Pittsburgh:

Marvell and MSI believe that the evidence and the law do not support the jury’s findings of infringement, validity and the award of damages. There are strong grounds for appeal and Marvell and MSI will seek to overturn the verdict in post-trial motions before the District Court and, if necessary, to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Marvell and MSI intend to vigorously challenge the judgment through all appropriate post trial motions and appeal processes. In addition, the district court in Pittsburgh has yet to rule on certain of Marvell’s defenses and motions, including laches and Marvell’s renewed request for a mistrial.

Marvell also says it hasn’t yet determined the financial impact, if any, to the results of operation for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, which will end February 2, 2013.

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