Feeds

Mentor attack on Cadence blown to bits

Skullduggery left, right and centre

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Normally, legal tussles in the wacky world of EDA are pretty dull fare, but when a judge accuses one of the CEOs involved of widespread fraud, fabricating evidence and staging break ins to their own property...

Now pay attention at the back, this is a tad complex. When Chip designer Cadence bought out Quickturn just over a year ago, rival Mentor Graphics was mightily peeved. Mentor had made a hostile bid for Quickturn and Decadence took on the role of white knight in a boardroom tussle that lasted for months before Cadence finally emerged victorious.

Mentor vowed revenge and paid hardware verification outfit Aptix a million bucks to license a patent that would then allow them to sue Cadence/Quickturn for infringement. Mentor also loaned Aptix a further $3 million and even promised to pay all legal costs.

Mentor already had another patent infringement lawsuit underway against Quickturn, while Quickturn was suing Mentor in Europe over violations of European variants of Quickturn patents. Clear so far?

Now EE Times reports that a federal judge has accused Amr Mohsen, president and CEO of Aptix, of committing widespread fraud and as a result, the suit has been dismissed, and the patent in question ruled unenforceable.

This is a bit of a bugger for Aptix as not only is its top management more than likely in very serious trouble, but one of its key patents in the hardware emulation area is now unenforceable.

Amr Mohsen and his brother Aly allegedly fabricated entries in a 1989 engineering diary and created a completely fraudulent 1988 one. According to the court, the notebooks were faked to prove that the patent, dating from 1989, was based on an invention made by Amr Mohsen in the previous year.

Book 'em, Danno

Rather unfortunately, forensic testing proved otherwise, with all of the 1988 notebook and much of the 1989 one being forged. Some of the ink in the books was proved to have been manufactured after 1994, prompting Judge Alsup to accuse Mohsen of "a premeditated and prolonged effort to deceive the defendant and this court."

And then, as if by magic, the dodgy notebooks disappeared when Mohsen, alone in the Aptix parking lot, allegedly broke his own car window in a staged break in. He then produced collaborating documents, which the court also found to be faked.

It was never Mentor be this way

The Judge dismissed the entire complaint, ruled the patent unenforceable, and ordered Aptix to pay Quickturn's court costs. There was no immediate ruling on whether the Mohsens would face fraud charges.

Mentor claims the company knew nothing of the nefarious goings-on at Aptix, and when asked whether the patent was licensed for the sole purpose of suing Quickturn, a spokesman replied, "I don't know."

"This is a huge victory from our standpoint," said Smith McKeithen, senior vice-president and general counsel at Cadence.

Cadence's European Marketing Director, Mark Gallagher, put it more succinctly: "Some of this stuff is simply beyond belief." ®

Related story

Cadence goes back to the future

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.