Magma touts win vs. Synopsys in patent dispute

August 18, 2006 – Magma Design Automation Inc., Santa Clara, CA, says the US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected all 15 of the claims in Synopsys Inc.’s patent #6,378,114. The two companies have been disputing several patents governing chip design since 2004, including a method for physical placement of ICs adaptive to netlist changes (the ‘114 patent), and methodologies for timing closures.

The heart of the arguments center around technology invented by Lukas van Ginneken, former Synopsys employee who went on to found Magma, which claims that the patents were co-owned by IBM, and that Ginneken developed two of the patents while at Magma.

In a statement, Magma noted that the ruling does not invalidate the ‘114 patent, but is an intermediate step in the re-examination process, which could ultimately result in the patent being deemed invalid.


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