Judge affirms $1.17 billion patent infringement verdict over hard disk drives

Posted
by John Chapman

On August 23rd, a federal judge in Pittsburgh denied a request by defendant Marvell Technology Group Ltd. to declare a mistrial in a patent infringement case in which a jury awarded $1.17 billion in damages to Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell in March 2009 over patents issued in 2001 and 2002 related to how accurately hard disk- drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.

Carnegie Mellon said at least nine Marvell devices infringed their patents. According to the Pittsburgh-based University, the infringement allowed Marvell to sell billions of computer chips using the technology without paying any royalties. The damage award in December 2012 was one of the largest ever by a U.S. jury in a patent infringement case.

Following the verdict, Marvell filed a slew of motions seeking to set it aside. One of the motions argued that Carnegie Mellon’s lawyer made improper, misleading and prejudicial comments during closing arguments that “inflamed” the jury. U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer disagreed with Marvell, stating that “Marvell, in throwing old and new grievances at the court under the guise of prejudice, is trying to do what it could not do at trial: convince the court to throw out this case and hope that a second time around will be more successful.”

A Marvell spokesman said the company would appeal the decision to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington. The judge has not ruled on a request by Marvell to reduce the damages.

Intellectual Property Law and Our Law Firm

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our attorneys have handled numerous patent matters including prosecuting claims for infringement. Our lawyers have handled claims brought by a large local company for infringement of its rail car patent, claims by a local inventor for infringement of her patent for a childcare product and claims by an Israeli company against a Fortune 500 company for infringement of its wireless technology patent. Our firm has also represented a client suing a large American pharmaceutical company for interfering with his patent rights to liposome technology. We are currently handling a large trademark dispute for an international businessman engaged in the diamond and jewelry business.

Our attorneys are capable of litigating patent infringement claims throughout the country. In addition, firm attorney John “Jay” Pate is licensed to prosecute patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Beyond our specific experience in the field of intellectual property, our ability to prosecute patent infringement action is aided by our extensive trial experience in general. While technical knowledge and familiarity with patent rules is a must for attorneys handling patent infringement claims, there is no substitute for courtroom experience. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our seasoned litigators have the experience to take even the most complex patent case and explain it in terms a jury can understand. We have a track record of proven success representing businesses large and small. Several of our trial lawyers are board certified* and many of them have been selected as Super Lawyers in the State of Texas for several years in a row.** Our firm is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical ranking available from the leading law firm ranking service, Martindale-Hubbell.

If you or your company is in need of representation in an intellectual property matter, contact us for a free consultation by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

** Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.