Marvell seeks to overturn $1.17 billion patent verdict

Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:25am EST
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(Reuters) - Marvell Technology Group Ltd said on Thursday it will try to void a $1.17 billion damages award imposed by a federal jury that found the chipmaker had infringed two patents held by Carnegie Mellon University.

In a statement, the company said it will seek to overturn Wednesday's verdict in post-trial proceedings in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. It also said that if necessary, it will take its case to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington.

Marvell said it has not determined the financial impact, if any, on operating results for its fiscal fourth quarter ending on February 2, 2013.

The company's shares fell 30 cents to $7.12 in premarket trading, after sliding 85 cents, or 10.3 percent, on Wednesday.

The award is one of the largest by a U.S. jury in a patent infringement case. It followed a $1.05 billion award in August to Apple Inc against Samsung Electronics Co concerning the design of smartphones.

Marvell could also face triple damages because jurors found that the company had acted willfully, meaning that it knew it was using Carnegie Mellon patents without a proper license.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer, who presided over the month-long trial, has scheduled a May 1, 2013, hearing to consider a final judgment in the case.

Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, on Thursday said the verdict will likely create an "overhang" on Marvell's shares until the case is resolved, which could take years.

"If the ruling stands, given Marvell's total cash position of $2 billion, we think this could represent a significant blow to the company," wrote Amir, who rates Marvell "neutral."   Continued...