back to article Marvell stuck with $1.17 billion patent bill

Fabless chip vendor Marvell Technology has lost the latest round in its patent battle with Carnegie Mellon University, with a judge denying its bid to have its penalty reduced. The university had sued Marvell over two patents, US 6,201,839 (here) and US 6,438,180 B1 (here), in a complaint first filed in 2009. Marvell lost the …

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“Marvell’s decision to continue production despite this infringement action demonstrates Marvell’s apparent acceptance of the business and legal risks”

You got it, judge.

Business in America - It is risk-based.

If it isn't an "IRS audit" because you displeased some bureaucrat, it's "Intellectual Property" tripwires, "class action lawsuits" or NIMBY protesters out for a good time. Then unions wreck your shit.

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“Marvell’s decision to continue production despite this infringement action demonstrates Marvell’s apparent acceptance of the business and legal risks”

You got it, judge.

Business in America - It is risk-based.

If it isn't an "IRS audit" because you displeased some bureaucrat, it's "Intellectual Property" tripwires, "class action lawsuits" or NIMBY protesters out for a good time. Then unions wreck your shit.

While I'll agree with the sentiment, I'm unsure about whether Marvell is even a US Company though. In either case. They [Marvell] knew what they were getting themselves into, and proceeded on that Risk, and lost. So although what you said chimes with me. I fail to see what barring it has to do with this Case...

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Anonymous Coward

While they are incorporated in Bermuda; that is for tax purposes. The CEO and all management people are in the US; Santa Clara to be exact. They also have over a dozen US offices.

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Paying the taxes a different way

Instead of paying the taxman, they are paying CMU instead.

(As judges are human - there would be more chance of judicial support if they were a tax paying US company instead of a tax avoiding Bermuda one.)

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Is Carnegie-Mellon University run by idiots, or have they done a deal with DC and know they have Superman on their side? Still, they had better have Superman, because Batman wouldn't stand a prayer against Spider-Man, Wolverine or The Hulk. And even if they've got Superman onside they had still better pray the Silver Surfer is currently visiting another Galaxy.

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Damn, I've been down voted. I suspect it was by Beppo the Supermonkey. Pro Marvel comments always seem to upset him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beppo_(comics)

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Two further down votes, This time I suspect it was Krypto the super-dog and Vibe the breakdancing member of the Justice League, what a dude he was. Is it any wonder I prefer Marvel to DC?

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Prolly just people who missed the joke (like me for several seconds).

Until you get the 'Marvel' context-cross the post is gobbledygook! :-)

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Always more down voting on Mondays.

Seriously, I would hate to see Marvell go south. They make the chips in some good embedded products, eg. sheevaplug and its derivatives.

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Why these patents and Marvell? An explanation

It turns out that both patents are concerned with magnetic recording, specifically with recovering a clean signal from a noisy track, so it mystified me why such a patent should affect a chip fabricator who I'd only heard of in terms on making ARM-based chips.

However, it seems that they were in the Digital Signal Processing business long before they bought the Xscale chip design and production rights from Intel. Its a pity Mr Chirgwin didn't add a sentence about this after the patent numbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why these patents and Marvell? An explanation

They make HDD controllers and that is what this lawsuit is over. They also sell billions of chips per year. So 1.7 billion is not that bad. Probably they were selling their chips cheaper than their competition and not paying royalties is one-way to produce cheaper chips.

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If they, ahem, played their chips right

They won't have made any money in the US. They could just file for bankruptcy and re-appear as something else.

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Anonymous Coward

A plurality of lawyers

Who was it that wrote: "When I read the word plurality I reach for my revolver."?

These may be perfectly good patents, I'm not familiar with the subject matter. But surely as a start to reforming the patent system, the use of lawyer-only words such as 'plurality' that make it difficult for someone "skilled in the art" to understand what is being claimed should be a sufficient reason to invalidate the patent.

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I feel that Marvel got what they deserved, (shoch, horror second post in as many weeks defending a patent case, but it does seem like a proper patent) but they "knowingly" used the patents without paying royalties. I would not like them living next door to me, they are the sort that would break in steal your coffee maker and say they where only borrowing it. One can only Marvel at the audacity of some people:)

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I reckon it is a fabulous

Everytime I see a large US company getting hit with an absurd amount over a patent infringement lawsuit, I reckon the day is brighter. When SMEs get out of business because of absurd patent laws, nobody hears their plight. It takes a large company to make any kind of large political noise to change the absurd system, which can be described as technological slavery. The power of a zaibatsu is only limited by the power of another zaibatsu.

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Fabulous news!

Everytime I see a large US company getting hit with an absurd amount over a patent infringement lawsuit, I reckon the day is brighter. When SMEs get out of business because of absurd patent laws, nobody hears their plight. It takes a large company to make any kind of large political noise to change the absurd system, which can be described as technological slavery. The power of a zaibatsu is only limited by the power of another zaibatsu.

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