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Marvell To 'Vigorously Challenge' $1.17 Bln Patent Verdict

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Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) said Thursday that it will seek to overturn a federal jury's verdict on Wednesday that ordered the company to pay $1.17 billion in damages in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Carnegie Mellon University. The chipmaker said it plans to "vigorously challenge" the judgment through all appropriate post trial motions and appeal processes.

In the lawsuit, Carnegie Mellon University or CMU had asserted that Marvell infringed two of its patents claiming a specific technique related to read channel detector technology that is not practiced by any Marvell chips. The patents relate to fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.

On Wednesday, a jury serving the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ordered Marvell to pay $1.17 billion in damages.

The federal jury made a special finding that Marvell's infringement was willful, providing the legal foundation for judge Nora Barry Fischer to enhance the jury's verdict by increasing it by as much as three times the amount awarded by the jury.

The jury also disagreed with Marvell's contention that its chips did not use Carnegie Mellon University's technology and that the university's patents were invalid.

However, Marvell said it believes that the evidence and the law do not support the jury's findings of infringement, validity and the award of damages.

The company noted that here are strong grounds for appeal and the company will seek to overturn the verdict in post-trial motions before the District Court. If necessary, the company plans to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Marvell said that as of October 27, 2012, it had not accrued any liability in its financial statements for this lawsuit. The company added that it has not yet determined the financial impact, if any, of the lawsuit to the results of its operation for the fourth quarter ending February 2, 2013.

Marvell provides a range of integrated data storage products, including hard disk drive, solid-state drive, hybrid hard disk drive, and optical disk drive controllers, as well as storage-system products.

In Thursday's regular session, MRVL is trading at $7.15, down $0.25 or 3.38 percent on a volume of 10.30 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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