As a history lesson just remember when Avant! stole EDA source code from Cadence it all started out with a claim that had to be taken into court. Guilty as charged and ironically the fee was paid to Cadence by Synopsys (who acquired Avant!).
Many EDA firms rely upon FlexLM as their licensing tool however just a brief search on Google will quickly turn up dozens of rogue web sites that have cracked FlexLM allowing you to easily create unlimited licenses for almost all EDA tools (once you have installed one legit version).
It is really eye opening news for me, as a matter of fact ZTE is involved in India(my country)in several confidential assignments.Stolen license case has come up it shows the business ethics of such Chinese companies. Indian Govt. as well Corporate must learn lesson from this issue and keep such companies away........
Sometime back I viewed an interview with MAGMA CEO, Rajeev Madhavan by John Cooley of DeepChip. He pointed out a similar incident. One major semi design house in China, bought 1 license from Magma and then churned out ~10+ chip tapeouts in first few months. Magma confronted them and found many engineers working on different designs with pirated versions of the tool. The interview is available somewhere in DeepChip.com
I started to avoid this one...but I have to dive in. For the youthful among you...here's a news flash - China has a national intelligence policy that supports this very act. Learn your history and current events it may well protect your IP at a minimum, your job next, and your way of life over the next 20-40 years. China is nobody's buddy.
To be fair, let's remember that AWR's complaint is just an accusation at this point. Neither the company or its employees have been found to have used the AWR tools illegally.
But to danlutes' point, I spoke today with Victor DeMarines, vice president of products at V.i. Labs, who made this point: Chinese companies are competing globally and if many of them are indeed illegally using software to build their businesses (as evidence suggests), then they have an advantage in the marketplace versus companies that pay for the stuff.
I'm not a huge fan of EDA companies, but AWR's statement hits the nail on the head: "software piracy in the EDA market space can undermine the competitiveness of semiconductor, telecommunications and aerospace companies worldwide."
If ZTE can get away with reducing their cost structure compared to western companies by stealing the required software, the viability of those western companies (and the jobs of the engineers they employ) is threatened.