A U.S. jury said Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL:US) should pay $1.17 billion in damages that may be tripled for infringing patents for integrated-circuit technology held by Carnegie Mellon University.
Marvell, which makes chips for computers and mobile phones, is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.
The jury found Marvell’s infringement willful, providing a basis for U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer to increase the award by as much as three times, according to a statement by K&L Gates LLP, the law firm representing the university.
Investors are concerned about the potential for triple damages, Kevin Stadtler, president of Stadtler Capital Management, which holds a short position on Marvell and stands to benefit if the stock drops, said in an e-mail. The penalties may force Marvell to raise capital by issuing shares, said Stadtler, whose company is based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Daniel Yoo, a spokesman for Marvell, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and telephone call seeking comment.
Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell in March 2009 over use of the two patents, issued in 2001 and 2002, that cover ways to detect data stored on a computer’s hard-disk drive by filtering out noise or unwanted electrical signals. The school said in its complaint that at least nine types of Marvell’s circuits use its inventions.
In dispute were patents 6,201,839 and 6,438,180.
Marvell had revenue of $2.95 billion for the year ended Jan. 31.
The case is Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., 2:09-cv-00290-NBF, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).
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X5 Retail Group Infringement Fine Reduced in Adidas Case
Adidas AG (ADS)’s infringement ruling barring Russia’s X5 Retail Group NV (FIVE)’s Perekryostok stores from using the athletic shoe company’s three-stripe trademark was upheld, although the fine the Germany company sought was reduced, according to the Russian Legal Information Agency.
Adidas had filed the appeal after it was awarded 70,000 rubles ($2,210) in compensation for the infringement, much less than the 1.1 million rubles the athletic shoe company had sought, according to the agency.
Russia’s Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals said that while Adidas’s rights were infringed, it found that only one of the 11 shops that had been targeted by the suit had actually sold the shoes, the agency reported.
Perekryostok is a major supermarket chain in Russia, according to the agency.
China Looking at Changes in Trademark Registration, Enforcement
China is considering changes to its trademark law that would protect famous international brands, even if their owners hadn’t registered them in China, according to EastDay.com English-language Chinese news.
Brand owners could bar others from registering the trademark, and the ceiling could be raised on fines for trademark violations from the present level of 500,000 Chinese yuan ($80,200) to 1 million yuan, EastDay.com reported.
Fines were increased because victims of trademark infringement have had to spend “a great deal of money” defending their marks in China, according to EastDay.com.
The change comes following recent high-profile trademark disputes involving basketball player Michael Jordan, Hermes International (RMS), and Apple Inc. (AAPL:US), according to EastDay.com.
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Mumford & Sons Says Don’t Lend the Group’s Album to Anyone
Mumford & Sons, a U.K.-based folk-rock music group, has some unusual language in the copyright notice on the packaging for its “Babel” album, Wired reported.
The notice prohibits unauthorized “lending” of the CD, according to Wired.
Placing such a notice is “outrageous” and “no way to build a fan base, Corynne McSherry of San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation digital-rights group told Wired.
A spokesman for the band’s label Glassnote Records sent Wired an e-mail saying its lawyers “instructed us to do this.”
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Kilpatrick Firm Expands IP Practice, Hires Jonathan Harris
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP hired Jonathan Harris for its patent litigation team, the Atlanta-based firm said in a statement.
Harris has represented clients in disputes involving software and chemical technologies. Before he was a lawyer he was a civil engineer.
He served as a judicial clerk for Judge Karen K. Caldwell of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Harris has an undergraduate degree in physics and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a law degree from the University of Kentucky.
Myers Bigel Brings Hee Jin Kwak and Patrick Hansen Into Firm
Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA hired two new patent practitioners, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm said in an e-mailed statement.
The two new hires are Hee Jin Kwak and Patrick Hansen.
Kwak has previously worked as a research engineer and patent engineer in the semiconductor division of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) She represents clients in the semiconductor- device and chemical industries.
She has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Kyungpook National University and a master’s degree in science and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Pohang University of Science and Technology. She has a law degree from the University of New Hampshire.
Hansen was previously a verification engineer for International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US), and as a software engineer for Nortel Networks Corp. (NRTLQ:US) He also developed and administered an information-management system for Duke University’s Center for Human Genetics and as a software analyst for a computer games company.
He has represented clients in the electrical, Internet and telecommunications industries.
Hansen has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and a law degree from Duke University.
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