Intellectual Property Damages Expert Witness Testimony Restricted to Scope of Financial Expertise


In Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has ruled that an financial consultant expert witness was qualified to testify as to damages but not to technical matters concerning the defendant’s business, the semiconductor industry and technology markets. The Court reasoned:

Based on the totality of the evidence concerning [name of expert]’s credentials, the Court finds that she meets the minimum qualifications necessary to be qualified as an expert in the area of intellectual property damages and the Court so qualified her at trial. See Pineda, 520 F.3d at 245. She was then subject to cross-examination by Marvell’s able counsel. See Holbrook, 80 F .3d at 782 (“Who is ‘best’ qualified is a matter of weight upon which reasonable jurors may disagree.”).

However, the Court also holds that CMU’s proffer of [name of expert]’s testimony through its slide presentation and the voir dire exceeded the scope of her expertise, such that she was opining, at times, on more technical matters concerning Marvell’s business, the semiconductor industry and the market for computer chips and the patented technology. (Docket No. 686 at 29; see also Plaintiff’s DEMO 9 ). It is evident that [name of expert] does not have expertise in these areas and she does not claim to have same. (Docket No. 706 at 97–99). In place of her lack of expertise, she has relied on the expert testimony on validity and infringement issues from Dr. McLaughlin and the expert testimony on the semiconductor and chip markets and the “must-have” nature of the subject technology to Marvell from Dr. Bajorek. (Docket No. 706 at 111, 121, 131–132). While the Court holds that [name of expert] may rely on these other expert witnesses, who have already testified, she may not express her own opinions on these matters, or, as is discussed below, exhaustively summarize the testimony of these other experts. See Dura Auto. Sys. of Indiana, Inc. v. CTS Corp., 285 F.3d 609, 613 (7th Cir.2002) (Posner, J.) (“Now it is common in technical fields for an expert to base an opinion in part on what a different expert believes on the basis of expert knowledge not possessed by the first expert.”). Accordingly, the Court restricted [name of expert]’s testimony to her damages opinion in this case.