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The Courts Data Storage Patents Hardware

Court Orders Marvell To Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.5B For Patent Infringement 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the enforced-endowments dept.
Lucas123 writes "A U.S. District Court has ruled that Marvell Technology must pay Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) $1.54B for infringing on two hard drive chip patents. Marvell was also ordered to pay interest at 0.14% annually, and 50 cents for each chip sold that uses the intellectual property. While Marvell did not comment on the case, CMU said it 'understands' that Marvell will again appeal the ruling and the school 'will look forward to the federal circuit court' upholding the lower court's ruling. The latest decision by a U.S. District Court in Western Pennsylvania ends for now a five-year legal battle between the two. In 2012, a jury found Marvell had violated CMU's patents, and the chip maker then appealed that ruling."
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Court Orders Marvell To Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.5B For Patent Infringement

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  • 1.5 Billion? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm... what is a school going to do with 1.5 Billion dollars?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That'll pay for a lot of melons!

  • by CycleMan (638982) on Friday May 09, 2014 @04:40PM (#46962875)
    Does this mean that if Marvell delays paying CMU for 50 years, they'll only pay an additional 7%? Compared to the rate of inflation, that's a marvelous deal.
  • by pla (258480)
    So this ruling of course means that CMU will compensate some professor or former student handsomely with royalties for this IP that they stole via their "Top Hits of the Robber Barons" terms of employment/enrollment?
    • by demontechie (180612) on Friday May 09, 2014 @04:48PM (#46962931)

      In fact, they will. CMU's IP Policy [cmu.edu] is quite clear on this matter. The inventors will get 50% of the proceeds.

      • by reedrudy (471719)

        I do not know the details of these particular patents and I am not a lawyer, but I would disagree that the policy is “quite clear” on this matter. The policy defines creator to mean “person or persons who create an item of intellectual property.” Since this IP was developed at a university, creators probably refers to a professor and one or more graduate students. I do not see anything in the policy that specifies how that 50% will be distributed. It is quite possible that the 50

        • by gnupun (752725)

          It is quite possible that the 50% would be distributed directly to the professor and the students would receive no compensation by default.

          Yeah, right. The professor was probably marginally involved in the invention -- he/she probably only improved/refined the original idea. The "creator" proceeds should be divided equally unless you who know who did how much work.

        • You are correct that the specific breakdown of that 50% is entirely dependent on the percentages agreed upon when the internal invention disclosure was made, and that the assignation of those percentages between the various inventors is not dictated in any particular way by the IP Policy. What is clear, however is that 50% (minus 1/2 of the legal fees) will be distributed amongst to the two inventors.

          That said, at CMU, any faculty member who tries to cut his or her grad students out of their invention discl

      • Fuck yeah! Party at my place (for the next year!)!!!!!
  • Remeber when... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

    Universities were places of teaching and learning, rather than patent-generating sporting-team franchises?

    • by santiago (42242)

      Hey now! CMU doesn't have any sports teams of note! They do make up for it in patents, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But if CMU wins outright, it will be a clear sign to corporations that using academia as it's main R&D "arm" is bad for business...

    That's considering nearly every Fortune 500 company uses the Google model: partner with a University (or multiples) and cut corporate R&D to zero while leveraging academia. Problem is academia research has a conflict of interest with corporations and the university system and stuff that comes out of Universities are so half-baked they'll always be in perpetual beta.

    Again

    • But if CMU wins outright, it will be a clear sign to corporations that using academia as it's main R&D "arm" is bad for business...

      This is only the case where corprorations try to cheat academia. Marvell had the option ~10 years ago to license the tech from CMU. They said no and used it anyway.

  • The link to the actual patent -> http://www.google.com/patents/US6438180 [google.com]

    It is very hard to tell what is going on in the patent. Seems like it is an method inside an error correcting algorithm for hard drives. Error correcting is statistical in hard disks and it seems like they found a new method for some error correlation for turbo codes. I'm not an expert in this field so I don't know how much of an impact this had on error coding.

    The present invention is directed to a method of determining branch metric values in a detector. The method includes receiving a plurality of time variant signal samples, the signal samples having one of signal-dependent noise, correlated noise, and both signal dependent and correlated noise associated therewith. The method also includes selecting a branch metric function at a certain time index and applying the selected function to the signal samples to determine the metric values. The present invention represents a substantial advance over prior sequence detectors. Because the present invention takes into account the correlation between noise samples in the readback signal, the detected data sequence is detected with a higher degree of accuracy. Those advantages and benefits of the present invention, and others, will become apparent from the Detailed Description of the Invention hereinbelow.

  • This transaction is obviously a cover for S.H.I.E.L.D. to fund certain research at CMU.

  • 'The case involves chip technology that "significantly improves" the ability of drives to more accurately detect data stored on spinning disk platters. CMU originally applied for the patents in 1997'

    Did Marvell reverse engineer Carnegies' drives, if not what exactly is Carnegie claiming ownership of. Could anyone produce the same improvements without taking a look at the Carnegie patents. Personally, I've seen may circuits appearing in electronic magazines that have subsequently appeared in patent applic
  • until I realized that CMU had not, in fact, developed an iron man suit, or anything else in the Marvel comics movies.

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