A jury in Pittsburgh has found chip manufacturer Marvell guilty of infringing on several hard drive patents owned by Carnegie Mellon University. As a result, the company is facing a fine of $1.17 billion awarded by the jury, who believed that Marvell not only infringed the patents, but did so knowingly. The remarkably high figure would make it one of the largest patent verdicts in history, and the willful infringement means that the judge could choose to further increase the damages.
It’s a sum that’s even higher than the $1.049 billion awarded in the famous Apple v. Samsung case, but it may not be the final figure. Two cases with even larger damages — Microsoft v. Lucent Technologies at $1.52 billion and Abbot Laboratories v. Centocor Ortho Biotech at $1.67 billion — were both overturned, one by appeal and one by the judge. And even if the damages aren’t overturned, they could be significantly reduced: US juries tend to hand out very high awards that are later cut down in the appeals process. In a move that should surprise no one, Marvell will be looking to overturn the verdict, saying in a statement that there are "strong grounds for appeal."