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Magma and Synopsys kiss and make up

Three or more years or patent lawsuits between Magma and Synopsys seem to have ended, with the firms agreeing to cross-license eight patents. Magma takes the hit with a $12.6m one-off fee to Synopsys. On his EETimes blog, Richard Goering points out that legal fees were costing Magma that much each year, and limiting what the company could do.

This lawsuit was so confusing and convoluted that I won’t even attempt a history here. When you realize that Magma and Synopsys each cross-licensed four disputed patents to each other, you can see how complex it got.

Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO of Magma, succinctly summed up the costs side of this: “This unfortunate episode involved significant expense to both sides.” Mike Santarini’s article on the settlement (Synopsys and Magma settle all pending litigation; Magma pays $12.6 million), states:

The settlement seemingly favors Magma, as Synopsys was originally seeking an injunction against Magma’s first-generation place-and-route system and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages

Mike has also written some analysis of the deal on his blog at Synopsys vs. Magma, Lessons learned?, with some cautionary words for anyone thinking of taking legal action:

But let’s not forget the suit really had merit and the whole thing got started when Magma sent Synopsys a patent infringement letter only to discover over the course of discovery and much litigation that, oops, some of the patents or at least ideas behind the patents were actually originally developed at Synopsys’ by a former employee of both companies. In other words, Magma thought it was doing the right thing and turned out unknowingly it wasn’t.

There’s another good article on this story at EETimes: Patent resolution removes cloud over Magma.

Tags: synopsys

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