Magma, Synopsys keep firing after patents withdrawn

September 18, 2006 – Synopsys Inc. and Magma Design Automation Inc. have agreed to set aside dispute over three patents, but the two firms are still a long way from being nice to one another.

Synopsys says that it received a letter from Magma stating Magma’s intention to drop its infringement claims regarding relating to US Patent No. 6,931,610, “Method for rapid estimation of wire delays and capacitances based on placement of cells.”

Synopsys also said it is dedicating certain of its inventions pertaining to scan chain partitioning, (Patent Nos. 6,434,733 and 6,766,501) to the public domain, in order to focus on IP litigation against Magma in a Delaware court. The company says this move has no impact on the companies’ case pending in California Northern District court regarding ownership of fixed timing methodology patents, which Synopsys claims was misappropriated by Magma.

“Focusing the claims in the Delaware case is a step in the right direction,” stated Brian Cabrera, Synopsys’ general counsel. By dedicating the patents to public use, “Synopsys is creating an opportunity for all engineers to use these scan chain inventions in their tools,” he said.

Magma, on the other hand, calls Synopsys’ withdrawal of its two patents “a transparent, desperate attempt” to mask alleged misdeeds, including submitting attempting to enforce fraudulent patent applications. Only one of three patents Synopsys claims that Magma infringes remains at issue, according to Magma, which charges Synopsys with infringement of four Magma patents.

“Withdrawing the patents from the case now is ‘too little, too late,” stated David Stanley, Magma VP for corporate affairs. “Putting the patents into the public domain is an embarrassingly transparent, desperate attempt to portray themselves as acting in the best interests of the public,” he argued, adding that perhaps Synopsys “should put into the public domain some intellectual property they actually own.” Stanley also hinted that Magma’s claim of a fifth patent being infringed by Synopsys may be reintroduced.

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