Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
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Tech company loses $1.17B patent infringement trial

Patent infringement litigation in Nevada and across the U.S. can lead to huge verdicts. In a recent example, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., a manufacturer of microchips, was recently ordered to pay $1.17 billion in damages to a university for violating the university’s technology patents. However, the company has vowed to either get the guilty verdict overturned or appeal.

The case had spent about three years in federal court before the jury reached its decision on Dec. 26. The plaintiff, Carnegie Mellon University, accused Marvell of using technology related to noise predictive detection, which is used in personal computers to help them retrieve data from their disk drives more accurately, that it held the copyright to. Marvell said that Carnegie Mellon improperly obtained the patents on the technology by failing to disclose information about prior inventions in its application to the federal government.

Following a four-week trial, the jury in the federal commercial trial found in favor of Carnegie Mellon and found that it was entitled to $1.17 billion in damages. As noted in news reports about the case, such huge jury verdicts often are reduced on appeal. Marvell moved to declare a mistrial following the plaintiff’s attorneys’ closing statements, calling their arguments misleading and in violation of court orders. The judge dismissed that motion without prejudice, meaning that it could be revisited later.

Patent infringement cases can be complex and could become highly costly, especially in the technology sector. An experienced commercial litigation attorney is very important in these cases.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Jury Finds Marvell Owes $1.17 Billion in Patent Case,” Don Clark, Dec. 26, 2012

· Our law firm represents businesses in a variety of commercial litigation. For more information, please visit our Las Vegas business litigation page.

John P. Aldrich
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