SANTA CLARA, Calif. Dodging a possibly crippling bullet, Nassda Corp. has avoided a preliminary injunction sought against its flagship product by Synopsys Inc. Although Synopsys' request for the injunction was refused Tuesday (Nov. 26), the judge who heard the case made comments viewed as favorable to Synopsys, and the case has not been finalized.
Synopsys has two lawsuits pending against Nassda one that alleges patent infringement, and another that accuses Nassda of misappropriating Synopsys trade secrets. Nassda is currently preparing for an IPO, and the latest hearing on Synopsys' request for an injunction against Nassda's HSIM circuit simulator came to light in an amended S-1 form that Nassda filed Wednesday (Nov. 28).
Refusal of the injunction doesn't mean Nassda is out of the woods yet. Steve Shevick, general counsel for Synopsys, said the judge cited evidence that Nassda's primary technology was developed while Nassda's founders were still at Synopsys. "This has been one of our primary allegations," Shevick said. "The resolution of the case must await the completion of discovery, and ultimately trial."
Sang Wang, president and chief executive officer of Nassda, said his company had brought forth experts who showed the judge that Nassda's product development wasn't impossibly fast, as Synopsys claimed. "Importantly, Synopsys did not allege that its review of our source code showed that portions of it came from Synopsys products," he said.
The judge's decision shows the Nassda lawsuit is not an "open and shut case," said independent analyst Erach Desai, principal of DesaiSive Technical Research. "It doesn't mean the case was lost by Synopsys," he said.
Comparisons of this case with the one involving Avanti Corp.'s theft of Cadence Design Systems Inc.'s source code are "completely inappropriate," Desai said.