Feeds

Mentor attack on Cadence blown to bits

Skullduggery left, right and centre

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.