Here's a twist in the patent wars. A federal jury in Pittsburgh in late December ordered chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. to pay nearly $1.17 billion--yes, with a "B"--after it lost a patent infringement case brought by Carnegie Mellon University. The award is one of the largest ever in a patent case, topping the $1 billion award Apple got against Samsung.
The size of the award is not the only striking thing about this case, although it probably wouldn't have received so much attention if it hadn't been for the stratospheric figure.
Mrvl stock went down to around $7 when this was annoucened from $8.5 in Dec 2012. Now stock price recovered and over performing. It's hovering around $10.5. That's 50% gain since the annoucement!
What's going on? No one believes this will impact Mrvl financials?
Yeah, I have immediately checked Marvel stock when I last saw the news, there was no reaction in the stock market! I think common investors may not even knew about this case or don't care about it.
I think the only law suits people care about is from Apple :)
If more people paid attention to how the legal system works in America, I think there would be mass anarchy.
Apple sues down the street from Cupertino and guess what? They get a $1B verdict from the local jury to punish the mean out-of-towners for stealing. Carnegie Mellon sues five miles down the road in Pittsburg and guess what? They get a $1B local jury to punish another group of mean out-of-towners for stealing.
Pick your venue and "buy" your verdict.
Despite what everyone learned in school, the legal system in America is not about blind ladies holding scales, but punishing the entity the jury doesn't like and for whatever reason. Legal bullies if you will.
Should it be a surprise that Samsung last month announced a new $1B Innovation Center in the heart of Silicon Valley? Gotta make some local friends to keep those golden scales balanced.
"If more people paid attention to how the legal system works in America"
Well I pay attention so I know that our system of juris prudence has a Federal Circuit Court ("Court of Appeals") precisely to review judgments such as this one. "Mass anarchy" might have to wait until the entire legal process has been given the opportunity to work....
There is a reason that lawyers "practice" law rather than help uphold it. With all due respect, there is nothing in the legal system that is finite or right at any level up to and including the Supreme Court. The process is to first identify which party is the "bad guy", then go find something to use to hang him. With nearly 250 years of case law and millions of patents, there is always something in the records to argue a case one way or the other. If you don't believe this, ask your attorney why you need to wear a nice coat and tie to court.
In an era in which the headline making patent cases involve subtle distinctions between products, it is interesting to see a pure technology case. This may result in Carnegie Mellon funds to further improve their well regarded computer science capabilities.
1.2B for 2 patents is madness. I suspect the Jury might consist of total idiots who have no background in tech. The starting point in such calculations should be the incremental profits that Marvel, made using this particular algo vs a previously used algo. Which by all chances will be less than a few millions. Oh wait.. its not abt damages here. Its abt pittsburg jury supporting local university and education.
"I suspect the Jury might consist of total idiots". The juries are required to be idiot. They have to be regular people without tech knowledge to cause biases. That is the requirement of the US law system. We can imagine the juries for such patent cases are mostly local old ladies and soccer moms. The keywords are "They should not have any STEM background."
Remember folks in the Apple lawsuit with Samsung, Apple was awarded damages because of their design patents: A rectangle with rounded corners, a black box, and a Green phone icon. If the jury cannot see prior art in these fundamental areas, then there is no hope for real justice in America with patents.
To prove wilful infrigement, you have to prove that the guilty party actually understood the patent they are infringing. The way some attorneys write patent claims, that can be damn near impossible. I speak from experience. I could also provide examples.
Selinz, wilful infringement means learning a competitors invention and deliberatly copying it, other than plain infringement, which means coming up with a similar idea independently later in the day. Both cases are infringement, of course, but for wilful infringement you can claim triple damages.
Now that the US Government has protected big industry from the little patent trolls starting on Saturday, how about focusing on protecting the rest of America from the big patent trolls. This is all so ridiculous.
Lots of knee jerk speeches without much substance here. Has anyone even looked at the patent involved? This isn't some overly broad patent but a very specific patent with detailed mathematical algorithms.
Having known someone who claimed that a certain company starting with M partnered with his company then stole all the IP and built it themselves, resulting in many lawsuits he went broke trying to right the wrongs, I wouldn't be so quick to fly off at the handle and make gross generalizations about patents in this case.
I have glanced through the patents. They are about calculating the branch metric in viterbi decoding. Didnt understand the exact advantage of the proposed system. But having worked in similar areas(Wireless PHY design) I can confidently say, there are atleast a 100 other ways of doing the same thing. Not something very unique IMO.
Most of the maths you see in that patent is from textbook and not invented by CMU.
Peoples intelectual property should be respected and paid to use.
If willfull stealling is proven.
Creaters wronged and that took time to ask for payment and blown off should compensated. The stealing party should be forced to pay extra damages also for court cost above infringment amount.
Stealing is thievery, period, and needs too be have enforcment means.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.