Welcome!

CRM Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Ian Khan, PR.com Newswire, Steve Mordue

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, CRM, Cloud Security

Microservices Expo: Article

Monster Patent Verdict Threatens to Cripple Marvell

Marvell claims the patents were obtained by withholding prior art from the Patent and Trademark Office

The day after Christmas a federal jury in Pittsburgh stuffed a scuttle full of coal into Marvell Technology's stocking when it found the semiconductor company owed Carnegie Mellon University roughly $1.17 billion for infringing a couple of the school's patents.

The award is right up there in the stratosphere with the $1.14 billion Apple won this summer off of Samsung for infringing the iPhone.

Samsung can easily pay the judgment if it's upheld - even if it's increased for willfulness as Apple hopes.

Marvell, on the other hand, which got nabbed for infringing patents related to the disk drives used in PCs and servers, has all of $2 billion in the bank so it could be looking at bankruptcy if the judge trebles the judgment.

Even if the judge cuts the award Marvell will still have to come up with the interest accrued during any post-trial motions and a presumably long appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, that Marvell says it will seek if otherwise rebuffed.

It allegedly sold billions of chips incorporating the school's patented noise predictive detection technology without the license CMU offered it in 2003.

The widgetry, which goes to the core of all of Marvell's HDD controller business, increases the accuracy of retrieving data off of drives.

Marvell claims the patents were obtained by withholding prior art from the Patent and Trademark Office. It also claims the CMU widgetry can't be reproduced in silicon and so used its own IP.

Still, the jury found the patents valid and assessed Marvell a 50-cent-a-chip royalty just on the parts it sold since 2009 (ah, patent law).

According to Seeking Alpha's calculations, going forward "the per-chip royalty [here and abroad] will result in roughly a 20% hit to operating margins on [Marvell's] HDD controller business (taking operating margins from 50% to 40%), and at least a 50% reduction to the HD controller business net earnings. Since the HD controller business makes up approximately 50% of Marvell's sales, the ongoing impact to earnings will be astounding, and could result in a 25% reduction in net earnings for Marvell as a whole going forward."

Apparently Marvell was also less than transparent about disclosing its exposure to its investors.

The judge denied a mistrial motion by Marvell without prejudice so the issue of CMU's allegedly inflammatory statements to the court could be revisited.

Competitive underdog LSI could get a cost advantage.

Marvell supplies the quad-core Armada XP ARM SoC that Dell is using in its avant-garde Copper servers in a hyperscale enterprise cloud retort to HP et al.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...