Marvell Pledges to Contest $1.17B Patent Verdict

After being hit with a massive $1.17 billion penalty, Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) said Thursday it plans to overturn the costly verdict that found the chip maker infringed on patents held by Carnegie Mellon University.

Despite the pledge to fight the negative legal finding, shares of Marvell retreated another 3% in premarket trading following a 10% plunge on the initial news Wednesday afternoon.

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Marvell said in a statement it believes “that the evidence and the law do not support the jury’s findings of infringement, validity and the award of damages.”

The $1.17 billion penalty would mark the third-largest patent verdict in history, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing statistics compiled by research firm Lex Machina.

Marvell and its U.S. subsidiary Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. said they believe “there are strong grounds for appeal. Therefore, Marvell said it “will seek to overturn the verdict” in post-trial motions before the U.S. district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and “if necessary” via an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Marvell noted that the district court in Pittsburgh has not yet ruled on certain defenses and motions employed by the company, including laches and a renewed request for a mistrial.

The chip maker, which has yet to accrue liability in its financial statements for the lawsuit, said it hasn’t determined the financial impact, “if any,” to its fourth-quarter results.

A federal jury on Wednesday agreed with Carnegie Mellon’s claims that Marvell infringed on a pair of patents tied to technology aimed at improving the accuracy of hard-drive circuits.

The trial judge could still decide to triple the damages because the jury found the infringement was willful.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell said it doesn’t anticipate a “disruption” to its business or customers as a result of the verdict.

Spooked by the massive patent verdict, analysts at JMP Securities downgraded Marvell to “market perform” from “market outperform” on Thursday morning.

The chip maker’s stock slumped another 3.38% to $7.15 ahead of Thursday’s opening bell after diving 10.30% to $7.40 on Wednesday. Marvell has plunged almost 47% so far this year.