A Pennsylvania jury ruled that Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) must pay Carnegie Mellon University $1.17 billion for patent infringement.
Marvell's shares declined on Wednesday following the jury verdict and closed regular trading down 85 cents, or 10 percent, to $7.40. Its shares were off another 21 cents, or 2.8 percent, in after-hours trading. In midday trading on Thursday, shares of the Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker recently changed hands at $7.21.
The case was heard in Pittsburgh's U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The San Jose Mercury News said that U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer could impose damages three times the verdict, after a jury determined that Marvell’s infringement was willful.
The case involved technology that allows data to be read at higher-speeds and with more precision on hard drives. The jury found that Marvell used technology patented by Carnegie Mellon University in several of its products. Specifically, the university accused Marvell of using its patented technology in as many as nine inventions, according to Investors.com.
Ken Walters, a spokesman for Carnegie Mellon, said, “We are gratified by the jury’s unanimous verdict.”
“This case deals with fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard-disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks," Walters told Bloomberg News.
Peter J. Kalis, chairman of K&L Gates, the firm that represented Carnegie Mellon in the case, said "We take special pride in this trial victory.”
In a statement on Thursday, Marvell said it seek to pverturn the $1.17 billion damages award imposed by the federal jury in post-trial proceedings in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. The company said that if necessary, it will take its case to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington.
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