Patent Office Raises Question of Patentability in Synopsys-Magma Dispute

Magma(R) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA) announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granted Magma’s second request for reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 6,378,114 (the ’114 patent), one of the patents at issue in the California patent infringement lawsuit between Magma and Synopsys Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS). Magma requested this second reexamination in December 2006 based on additional prior art that Synopsys had not cited in its patent application to the PTO. In response to the first request for reexamination, the PTO rejected all 15 claims in the ’114 patent. In granting Magma’s second request for reexamination, the PTO said Magma’s request raised “a Substantial New Question of Patentability” as to all 15 claims.

The ’114 patent is one of three at issue in the companies’ patent dispute pending before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In January the court rejected Synopsys’ position that it owned the other two patents, U.S. Patents 6,453,446 and 6,725,438 (the ’446 and ’438 patents), ruling instead that Synopsys shares ownership with IBM. In February Magma asked the court to dismiss the claims of infringement with regard to the ’446 and ’438 patents because patent law requires that all co-owners of a patent join an action for patent infringement and IBM has not joined the lawsuit.

This case is one of two patent lawsuits between the companies. In the second case, pending before the U.S. District Court for Delaware, Magma claims that four Magma patents are infringed by key Synopsys products, including Astro, Design Compiler, IC Compiler, Physical Compiler and PrimeTime. Synopsys asserts that Magma infringes one Synopsys patent. The trial in the Delaware case is scheduled to begin in June 2007.

About Magma
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.