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Design house Cadence said it is to appeal against a US district judge pre-trial ruling in its ongoing case of alleged trade secret theft against Avant. Meanwhile, an internal Cadence document has come to light which reveals what the company thinks, in private, about Avant and the case. An official statement by Cadence said that judge Ronald Whyte, in a California court, did not affect other aspects of the case following a waiver dated 6 June 6 1994. A Cadence lawyer said that this ruling "did not impact our ability to recover lost profits based on sales of Avant's ArcCell and Aquarius products". But the internal memo shows a far less polite view of the proceedings. Smith McKeithen, Cadence's lawyer, said: "Avant's own press release suggests that it is very likely we will win damages. The court's ruling has no effect on our claims for trade secrets stolen after June 6, 1994. The court's actions... have no bearing on the Santa Clara Country District Attorney's criminal case against Avant and its executives. That case is set to go to trial on November 15, 1999." The memo continued: "While Avant has employed virtually every legal stalling tactic in our civil case, we remain optimistic that Cadence will prevail when the case is put before a jury. Their theft of our code was brazen; its use was critical to their product development process; and the profits they derived from establishing their business on a foundation of Cadence intellectual property were substantial. That's the case, and we're ready to prove it." No one was available for comment from Avant at press time. ®

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