A long running patent battle between Marvell and Carnegie Mellon University over chips used in hard disk drives has finally ended.
The pair have buried the hatchet and reached an agreement where Marvell pays US$750 million, with no ongoing royalty payments. This figure is far lower than the $1.54 billion that a court in Pennsylvania had awarded the university.
US Patent No. 6,201,839, titled “Method and Apparatus for Correlation-Sensitive Adaptive Sequence Detection,” and No. 6,438,180, titled “Soft and Hard Sequence Detection in ISI Memory Channels” relate to methods to improve accuracy in the detection of recorded data when certain types of errors are likely due to the recording medium and reading mechanism.
The jury had awarded the university about $1.17 billion, corresponding to a 50-cents-per-chip royalty on Marvell’s sales. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a judgment of roughly $1.54 billion and a continuing royalty at 50 cents per Marvell-sold chip.
CMU said in a statement that a “substantial share” of the proceeds from the settlement will go to the inventors, José Moura, a professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former doctoral student of Moura and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Hawaii.
The university expects to receive about $250 million from the settlement after legal fees and related costs, most of which it will use to benefit students.