MUNICH -- Mentor Graphics Corp. today (Feb. 26) said rival Cadence Design Systems Inc. lost a key decision in Germany regarding a European patent for interconnected programmable devices used in emulators. According to Mentor, the German Federal Patent Court issued a ruling last week revoking the patent held by Cadence's Quickturn division.
The court issued the in a lawsuit filed by Avanti Corp. While the victory belongs to Avanti, officials at Mentor embraced the German court decision because the European patent has been used in suits against Mentor in Germany.
"We are pleased that the court has revoked this patent and believe that this ruling has important implications to our litigation against Cadence," said Dean Freed, general counsel of Mentor. "The German court is widely respected, and we believe that this ruling will carry significant weight in other jurisdictions examining this issue."
An immediate response from Cadence in San Jose was not available today.
Mentor, based in Wilsonville, Ore., tried unsuccessfully in 1998 to buy Quickturn Design Systems, which had been locked in legal battles over emulation patents with Mentor. Cadence then acquired Quickturn and continued suits against Mentor in the U.S. and Europe.
According to Mentor, the German patent court ruling revokes Quickturn's European patent No. 0437491. A full written opinion is expected in the next several weeks. Mentor also reported that Cadence was ordered to pay Avanti's legal costs in the case.