FAQs-Patent Lawsuit - Carnegie Mellon University

Why did CMU decide to settle with Marvell? Is CMU happy with the outcome?

CMU is pleased with the settlement, which ends litigation that began in 2009.

Will CMU pursue further litigation in this matter?

The settlement will conclude this lawsuit.

Does CMU have other such lawsuits?

No. It is extremely rare for CMU to have to pursue measures to stop patent infringement. In many ways the Marvell lawsuit was unprecedented for CMU, and not a part of any pattern. The vast majority of technologies developed at the university that make their way into industry application are licensed in terms that benefit all parties.

What is CMU’s approach to intellectual property?

Carnegie Mellon’s intellectual property policy is critical to fulfilling the university's mission of creating and disseminating knowledge. This policy is designed to encourage faculty to conduct cutting-edge research, typically providing for creators and the university to share the proceeds.

What is CMU’s relationship with industry?

CMU has partnerships with more than 350 companies, a deep and broad level of engagement with industry that distinguishes the university. Fruitful partnerships with companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Intel have brought important technologies to market, and helped reshape the Pittsburgh region. Within the last year, major new partnerships with Tata Consultancy Services and Boeing were announced, and several more major partnerships are under negotiation. Companies seek out CMU both for the cutting-edge discoveries made here, and for the nimble and collaborative culture that helps researchers in both academia and the private sector work together.

That ethos has also made CMU a leader in entrepreneurial activity at all levels. In 2014 alone, 39 new companies were created by CMU faculty and students.

How does CMU support that engagement?

Together with partners in academia and government, CMU is playing a leading role in catalyzing a new Innovation Corridor in Pittsburgh. This includes creating new space for private-sector partnerships, and providing direct support for faculty who wish to work in collaboration with industry. It also includes a new level of support for entrepreneurial activities, under the umbrella of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, supported by a $31 million gift in 2015 from alumnus and venture capitalist James Swartz.

How will proceeds from this settlement be used?

Once legal fees and related costs are paid, the proceeds from the Marvell settlement will be divided between the inventors and the university.

The university expects to receive approximately $250 million. CMU will dedicate a substantial majority of that amount to benefit students. This will include helping qualified students afford a Carnegie Mellon education, helping students succeed at CMU, and supporting programs that enhance the student experience. With this in mind, we have formed a committee to provide recommendations on how to best allocate the proceeds.

How will the committee operate?

The committee will create a deliberate process that will allow it to gather input from faculty, students and staff in months to come. Its role will be advisory, and final decisions will be made by the president, in consultation with the board of trustees.