Judge rules California firm owes Carnegie Mellon University $1.54 billion

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California computer chip maker Marvell Technology Group owes Carnegie Mellon University $1.54 billion and counting, a federal judge ruled today.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer's final judgment entered today ends, for now, the five-year legal fight between CMU and the company that, a jury found in 2012, violated its patent. The patent covered chip technology to increase the accuracy with which hard-disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.

The jury awarded CMU $1.17 billion, or 50 cents for each of the enhanced chips sold by Marvell during the period it was infringing on the patent. The judge added $80 million in damages for a later period of time, plus $287 million to punish Marvell for the willfulness of the infringement. Marvell must also pay interest at 0.14 percent annually, and 50 cents for each infringing chip it sells from here on, the judge ruled.

A Marvell spokeswoman could not immediately be reached. Company attorneys have intimated that they will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which reviews patent law decisions.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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