Jury Awards $1.17 Billion in Patent Suit —NYT Reviewed by Momizat on . Marvell Technology Group Sold Billions of Semiconductors Developed at Carnegie Mellon University  Jad Mouawad reports in the New York Times that Carnegie Mellon Marvell Technology Group Sold Billions of Semiconductors Developed at Carnegie Mellon University  Jad Mouawad reports in the New York Times that Carnegie Mellon Rating: 0
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Jury Awards $1.17 Billion in Patent Suit —NYT

Marvell Technology Group Sold Billions of Semiconductors Developed at Carnegie Mellon University 

Jad Mouawad reports in the New York Times that Carnegie Mellon University said it was awarded $1.17 billion by a federal jury in Pittsburgh on Wednesday in a unanimous verdict that found the Marvell Technology Group had sold billions of semiconductors using technology developed at the university without a license.  

The award is one of the largest in a patent infringement case, and comes after a $1 billion verdict awarded to Apple this summer over its smartphone design.

Carnegie claimed that Marvell had infringed on a pair of patents relating to fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.

The patents were developed by José Moura, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former Ph.D. student now a professor at the University of Hawaii. Their work was supported by Carnegie’s Data Storage Systems Center, a university research organization.

Read the whole piece here.

“The Carnegie Mellon Award is One of the Largest Patent Infringement Judgments Ever.”

Marvell, critics decry huge award in CMU patent case

Brian Bowling at The Chicago Tribune (12/29)reports

A monster verdict in Western Pennsylvania this week highlighted growing industry unease with a patent system that critics say is stifling innovation instead of encouraging it.

A nine-member federal jury on Wednesday awarded Carnegie Mellon University $1.17 billion on its claim that Bermuda-based Marvell Technology Group Ltd. infringed on two patents the university holds for noise-detection technology used in computer hard drives. It‘s the largest standing verdict in a technology patent case, observers said.

Critics of the verdict decry both the size of the award and the fact that the university doesn‘t produce computer chips and, therefore, wasn‘t protecting a patent against a competitor.

“It‘s not like Carnegie Mellon was losing sales or being put out of business,” said Mark Lemley, a Stanford University law professor who tracks patent lawsuits.

Patent litigation likely to keep on humming in ’13: 

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (12/24) predicts Patent Litigation Likely to Keep On Humming in ’13:

It became a big issue in 2012 but counsel at companies big and small claim that patent-infringement suits are taking up increasing amounts of both time and resources. And many blame so-called “patent-assertion entities,” also often called “trolls” by their detractors.

Broadly speaking, PAEs buy up troves of patents not to develop products, but for licensing or litigation purposes.

The proportion of patent lawsuits filed by PAEs has grown to 40% in 2011 from 22% in 2007, according to a recent study by Lex Machina, an intellectual-property litigation, data and analytics company.


Meanwhile:  After 40 years of trying, Europe has a unified patent system. Sort of.

So reports the Economist (12/15)

IN 1973, 16 countries signed a convention establishing a European patent, so that inventions in one country might be safe from imitation in another. Five years later the first applications were filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich. Last year the EPO received more than 142,000. Today 38 countries, including the European Union’s 27 members, are signatories. Yet the business of securing patents across Europe is far from smooth. Even equipped with the EPO’s stamp of approval as well as a domestic patent, inventors wanting to protect their intellectual property abroad must still tramp from one national patent office to another, translations in hand.

Forty years on, the EU has taken a big stride towards a unified system. On December 11th the European Parliament voted for proposals, approved the day before by the Council of Ministers (EU national governments), to create a “unitary” patent, recognised automatically in 25 EU countries and overseen by a new court, and to do away with the need to translate patents into lots of languages.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, estimates that the cost of having a patent recognised in every EU country can be €36,000 ($46,900), €23,000 of it accounted for by translation. American patents cost a mere €1,850. This tariff on inventors may partly explain why national patent offices still do not receive many applications from other EU countries (see chart). Between 2008 and 2011 filings for European patents fell by about 2.5%—though that probably had more to do with the sickly economy than the sticky system. In the same period, says the World Intellectual Property Organisation, filings in America rose by about 10%. In China, which handled more than any other country last year, knocking America off the top spot, they went up by two-thirds.


. . . and China’s patent office received more applications than any other country last year.

Elsewhere, The Economist  (12/15) notes:   

China’s patent office received more applications than any other country’s in 2011, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a UN body which follows 125 patent offices. China received 526,412 applications, exceeding those to America and Japan. Globally filings rose by 7.8% last year, breaking the 2m mark. Growth was over 7% for the second year running, thanks largely to another surge in China (which has accounted for 72% of the world’s patent-filing growth between 2009 and 2011; America contributed 16%). Almost 1m patents were granted in 2011; Japan approved the most. But America has the most patents in force: more than 2.1m, out of an estimated 7.9m worldwide.

An update on that $1B case: Apple to drop patent claims against new Samsung phone

Engadget  (via Reuters) reports that late Friday (12/28) a new development came to light in the Apple v. Samsung dispute:

Apple’s patent claim against Samsung’s Galaxy S III mini is no more, with Cupertino citing the phone’s lacking availability in the US for the amendment to itsoriginal November filing. In the ongoing litigation between the two electronics giants, Samsung argued that it’s Galaxy S III mini didn’t warrant inclusion in the latest volley of Samsung devices Apple wants added to its patent lawsuit; Apple apparently agreed, and is thusly withdrawing its claim against that particular device. The argument also highlights the sad news that the S III mini won’t join Samsung’s Galaxy lineup in the US.

An agreement filing spotted by Reuters from a San Jose, CA. US District Court revealed today’s news, coming just days after Judge Lucy Koh dismissed a request to permanently ban sales on several Samsung devices. It’s unclear if the other Samsung devices Apple asked to be added to the ongoing case are approved yet by the court, but we can certainly count the S III mini out for the time being.

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