MANHASSET, N.Y. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a restraining order Tuesday (Aug. 30) preventing Magma Design Automation from abandoning or seeking re-examination of the two patents at the heart of the company's patent litigation with rival Synopsys Inc.
The ruling, granted by Judge Maxine Chesney, remains in effect until Oct. 28, when an additional hearing is scheduled on the matter.
Both Synopsys and Magma recently claimed victory after a court ruling Aug. 23 on claims construction that interpreted the claims of the patents, known as the '446 and '438 patents.
David Stanley, Magma's special counsel, said in a statement that Synopsys sought to prevent re-examination of the patents under the interpretation that Synopsys argued in favor of the day after claiming "overwhelming victory" in the Aug. 23 ruling.
"It seems clear to us that Synopsys recognizes it has a weak hand in trying to show its sole ownership and validity of these patents in light of the court's interpretation," Stanley said.
In response, a spokesperson for Synopsys said that Synopsys requested that the court protect the patents at issue in order to prevent Magma from corrupting or otherwise invalidating them within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
"It's amazing that Magma would suggest Synopsys has anything but a strong hand in the infringement litigation when each successive court ruling reinforces the strength of Synopsys' case," the spokesperson said.
Synopsys and Magma have been waging a fight over patents since last September. Synopsys claims that technology that was originally developed at Synopsys underlies Magma products, which Magma disputes.
The dispute reached a boiling point in April, when filed a declaration from Lukas van Ginneken, Magma's former chief scientist, in which van Ginneken said that inventions he conceived at Synopsys underlie Magma's products and patents.
Van Ginneken appeared to change his tune in May when he argued that the declaration did not tell the full story and petitioned the U.S. District Court to release the transcripts of two days of deposition with Magma and Synopsys lawyers. Both companies eventually published versions of those transcripts on their Web sites.