SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Mentor Graphics Corp. and emulation provider EVE Corp. have settled a previously unpublicized patent infringement lawsuit in which Mentor was the plaintiff, the companies reported Thursday (Jan. 11). The legal action was pending in the United States District Court of Oregon.
Luc Burgun, EVE CEO, said that Mentor sued EVE in March 2006 for allegedly violating three Mentor patents. The companies settled before going to trial, he said. Burgun declined to provide details about the settlement.
A Mentor Graphics spokesman said that Mentor believed EVE was infringing three of its patents, and therefore filed suit. EVE agreed to license the patents, and that "settled the matter," the spokesman said. Burgun, however, said EVE does not believe the company was infringing on Mentor's patents.
EVE wanted to settle the case, Burgun said, to bring an end to legal expenses; to prevent competitors from using litigation against EVE; and to be able to focus attention entirely on customers.
"We want to turn the page," Burgun said. "We have a lot of things to do, and for us this has been a painful experience, being a small company." Despite the lawsuit, he said, EVE had its first year of profitability in 2006 and significantly increased its revenues.
Both Mentor Graphics and EVE provide hardware-assisted verification tools. Mentor provides the VStation line of emulators, while EVE's ZeBu product line claims to blend the best of emulation and rapid prototyping. Earlier this month, EVE announced its entry into the simulation acceleration market with its purchase of Tharas Systems.
"We're not really in direct competition," Burgun said. "They are more in the high-end emulation market, and we are more in software emulation or prototyping, and now we're in simulation acceleration." With the lawsuit out of the way, Burgun said, there may be ways in which EVE can partner with Mentor.