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Jury Hits Marvell With $1 Billion+ Fine Over CMU Patents 167

Dupple writes with news carried by the BBC of a gigantic tech-patent case that (seemingly for once) doesn't involve Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, or Google: "'U.S. chipmaker Marvell Technology faces having to pay one of the biggest ever patent damage awards. A jury in Pittsburgh found the firm guilty of infringing two hard disk innovations owned by local university Carnegie Mellon.' Though the company claims that the CMU patents weren't valid because the university hadn't invented anything new, saying a Seagate patent of 14 months earlier described everything that the CMU patents do, the jury found that Marvell's chips infringed claim 4 of Patent No. 6,201,839 and claim 2 of Patent No. 6,438,180. "method and apparatus for correlation-sensitive adaptive sequence detection" and "soft and hard sequence detection in ISI memory channels.' 'It said Marvell should pay $1.17bn (£723m) in compensation — however that sum could be multiplied up to three times by the judge because the jury had also said the act had been "wilful." Marvell's shares fell more than 10%.'"
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Jury Hits Marvell With $1 Billion+ Fine Over CMU Patents

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:08AM (#42403325)

    Critical thinker unthinkingly accepts chart with made up numbers.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:46AM (#42403609) Journal

    This pretty much makes CMU a patent troll. The $billions offered just shows juries have no idea what they're doing in regards to patents. 2 claims across 2 patents = billions? That by itself is ridiculous.

    Litigation lottery by a university is pretty despicable, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:46AM (#42403611)

    What, exactly, are the units on the vertical axis?

    Where does the mathematical work done in the Middle East while Europe was snoozing a religious nightmare fit in there?

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:58AM (#42403681)

    you're an idiot

    the Christian Dark Ages was a European event. China and the Middle East were the centers of science and learning at the time. China, The Eastern Roman Empire, Persia, the Arabs' conquered territories.

    the reason for the dark ages was that hundreds of different tribes of "barbarians" conquered the western roman empire. once they settled down their traditions of dividing the lands among all the sons created a power vacuum as the kids would go to war with each other. mostly small minor wars that no one remembers anymore. add the vikings pillaging as well. it took a few hundred years for Charlemagne and other strong monarchs to emerge and even then the empire was divided into 3 parts which caused all the wars for the next thousand years

    the Christian Church is kept some knowledge alive during these times. the kings and other nobles couldn't read and basic skills like reading, writing and making books was done by the Christian Church. these newly settled barbarians had no way to duplicate what the Romans had done. when the Turks had all but conquered the Eastern Roman Empire all the artists went to Europe to jump start the Renaissance

    China was sailing most of the world by the late middle ages and it was a dumb chinese king that stopped it that allowed Europe to rise up.

  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:06AM (#42403719)

    Maybe not. But maybe this verdict is actually a valid one?

    Use some common sense. That's $1.7B for two claims that make disk reads a little faster. That would mean that manufacturing entire hard drives, which contain thousands of "patentable" ideas, would be worth trillions of dollars, an amount comparable to the entire US gross domestic product.

    Even if the law technically allows such a ridiculous outcome, that doesn't make the situation "valid".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:09AM (#42403745)

    I am the first AC. I do not question that the Catholic Church did a lot of bad things and things that were not remotely Christian. They stifled innovation and stopped dissenting opinion. Frankly, I don't want the Church to have direct political power ever again.

    Yet the dark ages were not caused by Christians and the Church did not cause a worldwide halt to progress. And above everything else, the church softened the blow caused by the collapse of the Roman Empire. Had it not been for the Church, it is hard to say how bad it would have gotten, but it is almost certain that without the stabilizing force, more people would have died and there likely would have been even more factions killing each other off.

    The OP is a mindless droid and that is what I was criticizing.

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:10AM (#42403747)

    Which, was entirely politics. If the state didn't have an interest in burning heretics, they wouldn't have been burnt. That's why today, you can still kill people for not following the party line even in atheistic systems.

    And that graph is just a bad troll. There are so many levels to how absurd it is, that it would take all day to go through them. Of course, all I really have to point out is that there were no so-called Christian Dark Age in China, and they didn't fly to the Moon either.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:24AM (#42403841) Homepage Journal

    The idea of a jury of non-engineers deciding on their novelty is at best weird.

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:26AM (#42403853)
    A story about CMU suing Marvell for patent infringement and you are blabbering about Apple? You should realize not everyone shares your off topic obsession.
  • by emil ( 695 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:32AM (#42403899)

    At least, in the opinion [blorge.com] of Linux Torvalds.

    Torvalds pointed out that basic operating system theory was more or less set by the late 1960s.

    “IBM probably owned thousands of really ‘fundamental’ patents,” he explained. ”The fundamental stuff was done about half a century ago and has long, long since lost any patent protection.”

  • by Yabol ( 970939 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:46AM (#42404021) Homepage
    The idea of a bunch of people from Pittsburgh voting to not give CMU a bunch of loot is at best weird.
  • Great.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @12:56PM (#42404503)

    A U.S. University trying to put a U.S. Technology company out of business. Way to go guys. There aren't too many U.S. Technology companies left, and this is why.

    We are putting ourselves out of business!

  • Uhhh...kinda sad when the Windows guy understands licenses better than the FOSS zealots. First of all you CANNOT STEAL from BSD, the code is still there for all to use as they see fit, instead of sticking a gun to your head and forcing you to "share", second Apple has given back a hell of a lot more than they have taken out, such as CUPS and Webkit, again just as BSD intended.

    Its actually quite simple, you want to lock something up in BSD land? Its not a problem but YOU are gonna be responsible for the fork you have just created, whereas if you CHOOSE to share your changes they can be incorporated into the mainline. Personally I find this to be much better that slitting the throat of the entire ecosystem because of the "blessed three" which is the only way to make money in Linux land. I of course am speaking of support, selling hardware, or the tin cup, which is why you don't see AAA games under FOSS or even a desktop that can compete with OSX, because too many niches aren't covered by the blessed three so you get half baked and poorly supported because there isn't any way to make money in all these areas not covered by the blessed three.

    But am I the only one that finds it ironic as hell that when a FOSSie rails against BSD they sound almost exactly like the *.A.A copyright trolls? Its all about stealing and "protecting the rights",hell you could take any FOSSie railing against BSD and simply change a few words and you'd have a classic MPAA/RIAA rant, almost no effort required to switch between the two.

  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @08:25PM (#42407645)
    For the same reason the US gave up on capitalism a century ago, pure systems fail.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama