Chipmaker Marvell pays $750m to settle patent suit

February 17, 2016

Semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group said Wednesday it has agreed to pay $750 million to settle a long-running patent suit brought by Carnegie Mellon University.

"Pursuant to a court-ordered mediation, the company and University have settled their ," said a statement from the company which is headquartered in Bermuda with operations in California.

"The parties have resolved the case on mutually acceptable terms, including an aggregate payment by Marvell to CMU of $750 million, with no ongoing royalty payments."

The suit filed seven years ago claimed Marvell violated CMU patents on technology that increases the accuracy of reading data from high-speed magnetic disks. The company had appealed.

The university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said that "a substantial share of the proceeds will go to the inventors," computer engineering professor Jose Moura, and his former doctoral student Aleksandar Kavcic, who is now a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Hawaii.

"Their scientific research and technological innovations had a powerful impact on the ability to detect more accurately the data stored in the disk drives of computers sold worldwide in the last decade and a half, from large servers to small laptops," the university said in a statement.

"Today, Moura's work extends beyond data storage and into signal, image processing and data science in many application domains ranging from data analytics to urban science."

After legal fees and related expenses, the inventors and the university will share remaining proceeds from the settlement, with some expected to help the school's financial aid programs.

Explore further: Marvell hit with billion-dollar verdict in patent case

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