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.
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.
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?
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.
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.