K&L Gates Team Wins Major Jury Verdict For Carnegie Mellon University In Patent Infringement Case

PITTSBURGH - A team of lawyers from global law firm K&L Gates LLP led Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to victory over Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. in front of a Pittsburgh jury Dec. 26, winning a $1.1 billion verdict, K&L Gates announced in a press release.  

According to the press release: 

CMU contends - and the jury agreed - that Marvell infringed CMU patents relating to fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks. The jury also made a special finding that Marvell's infringement was willful, providing the legal foundation for the judge to enhance the jury's verdict by increasing it by as much as three times the amount awarded by the jury. The case was tried before Judge Nora Barry Fischer in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

"We take special pride in this trial victory because of the decades-long relationship between our firm and Carnegie Mellon University and our deep appreciation for CMU's pathbreaking and leadership role in the Information Age," said Peter J. Kalis, K&L Gates' Chairman and Global Managing Partner. "It is emblematic of our relationship with CMU that my predecessor, Charles J. Queenan, Jr., served as Chairman of CMU's Board of Trustees."

The CMU patents relate to information storage technology systems and methods developed and patented by CMU professor Jose Moura and then CMU Ph.D. student Alek Kavcic (now a professor at the University of Hawaii) and supported by the university's Data Storage Systems Center. Through its verdict, the jury found that Marvell, a maker of integrated circuits, had sold billions of chips incorporating the technology without a license to do so. Marvell contended that its chips did not use CMU's technology and that CMU's patents were invalid but the jury disagreed.

Seattle-based partner Douglas Greenswag and Pittsburgh-based partner Patrick McElhinny led the K&L Gates team that represented Carnegie Mellon University, assisted by Pittsburgh-based partners Mark Knedeisen and Chris Verdini and Seattle-based partner Theo Angelis, as well as an extensive team of trial support professionals in Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Marvell was represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

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