Magma(R) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA) announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will re-examine U.S. Patent No. 6,725,438 (the’438 patent), one of three patents at issue in a lawsuit between Magma and Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) pending in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. With this decision, the PTO is now in the process of re-examining two of the three patents in the lawsuit, and the PTO will soon decide whether it will re-examine the third.
The PTO is re-examining U.S. Patent Number 6,378,114 (the ’114 patent), and in August rejected all 15 claims in that patent. The PTO was asked to re-examine the third patent, U.S. Patent Number 6,453,446 (the ’446 patent), along with the ’438 patent, and the PTO must determine whether it will proceed with re-examination of the ’446 patent by February 10, 2007.
The ownership of the ’114, ’446 and ’438 patents was the subject of a trial earlier this year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. At that trial, Synopsys claimed to be the sole owner of the patents, while Magma asserted that the patents are jointly owned by IBM as the result of a joint development project. The Court has not yet issued a ruling on ownership of the patents.
The lawsuit in California is one of two patent litigations between the two companies. In the other case, in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Synopsys claimed Magma infringed three additional patents. After the discovery process in that case revealed prior art that Synopsys did not disclose when it applied for two of those patents, Synopsys dropped those two patents. As a result, all but one of the six patents Synopsys claimed were infringed in the California and Delaware actions are in some stage of re-examination or potential re-examination, or have been abandoned outright.
Synopsys is also defending itself in the Delaware case against charges that it violated U.S. antitrust law.
Filings, court orders and other documents relevant to these matters are available on the Magma website.
Magma’s software for integrated circuit (IC) design is recognized as embodying the best in semiconductor technology. The world’s top chip companies use Magma’s electronic design automation (EDA) software to design and verify complex, high-performance ICs for communications, computing, consumer electronics and networking applications, while at the same time reducing design time and costs. Magma provides software for IC implementation, analysis, physical verification, characterization and programmable logic design, and its integrated RTL-to-GDSII design flow offers “The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon”(TM). Magma is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with offices around the world. Magma’s stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA.
Magma is a registered trademark and “The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon” is a trademark of Magma Design Automation Inc.