February 17, 2016
Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community,
Carnegie Mellon University has reached a settlement in its 2009 patent infringement lawsuit against Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. A substantial share of the proceeds will go to Prof. José Moura and his former CMU student, Aleksandar Kavcic, whose breakthrough research and innovation in data retrieval provided a major step forward in computing technology, at a time when computing was transforming our world. We are proud of their work and all the outstanding research at Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Data Storage Systems Center, which laid the foundation for this industry innovation and global impact. I invite you to read more about their work at cmu.edu.
Once the inventors receive their portion of the settlement, and all legal fees and related expenses are paid, the university will receive approximately $250 million. There is broad consensus across the university that we should dedicate a substantial majority of this resource to helping qualified students afford a Carnegie Mellon education, helping all students succeed while they are here, and enriching the student experience.
I have charged a committee to provide me recommendations on how best to allocate these proceeds to achieve these goals, now and in perpetuity. That committee consists of Provost Farnam Jahanian; James Garrett, Dean of the College of Engineering; and David Coulter, a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Please join me in congratulating Prof. Moura, Prof. Kavcic and all the researchers over many decades whose efforts led to and built upon this path-breaking discovery. This provides one more reminder that the work performed at Carnegie Mellon University has the power to change the world.
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair
Carnegie Mellon University