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Marvell to fight £730m verdict in Carnegie Mellon patent infringement case

Chip designer Marvell Technology Group said on 27 December that it will appeal the $1.17 billion (£730 million) jury verdict against it in a patent infringement case brought by Carnegie Mellon University.

Already the third largest penalty in a US patent infringement case on record, the hefty damage claims could be tripled if the judgment is upheld on appeal, according to the International Business Times, which also reported the company's decision to appeal.

Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell in March, claiming that the chip manufacturer copied two of its patents for use in at least nine of Marvell's integrated circuit devices. The patents, issued in 2001 and 2002, cover the detection of data stored on a computer's hard-disk drive by filtering out unwanted electrical signals.

Following this week's billion-dollar verdict, which actually calls on Marvell to pay $1,169,140,271 (£725,272,660) to the Western Pennsylvania school, a Carnegie Mellon spokesperson told Bloomberg that it was "gratified" by the unanimous jury decision.

Carnegie Mellon University did not immediately responded to requests for comment.

Marvell, meanwhile, is aiming to fight back.

"Marvell and MSI [Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.] believe that the evidence and the law do not support the jury's findings of infringement, validity, and the award of damages. There are strong grounds for appeal and Marvell will seek to overturn the verdict in post-trial motions," the company said in a statement.

Marvell is also awaiting a final ruling on a request for a mistrial, according to Ars Technica, which noted that Marvell's lawyers claimed that Carnegie Mellon's closing statements in the jury trial were "rife with misinterpretations."

Marvell may be walking on thin ice by petitioning its case. The company reported cash and investments exceeding $2 billion (£1.24 billion) as of 27 October, IBT said. But if US District Judge Nora Barry Fischer increases the final award, it could reach up to $3.51 billion (£2.18 billion), essentially wiping out Marvell's savings.

Fischer scheduled post-trial briefings between February and April, with a motions hearing set for early May.