Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT), today announced that a panel of judges for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has, in a precedential opinion, unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) infringed U.S. Patent No. 6,240,376 for emulation technology developed by Mentor Graphics. The Court has also upheld a permanent injunction barring sales of infringing products.
The Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s award of over $36 million in lost profits damages, and further ruled that Mentor Graphics may pursue treble damages for willful infringement of the ‘376 patent. In addition, the Appeals Court reinstated Mentor Graphics’ U.S. Patent No. 6,947,882 directed to clock timing for emulators, and revived Mentor’s claims that Synopsys infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 5,649,176 and 6,009,531 for Mentor’s emulation technology.
“Of course, we are very pleased with this ruling,” said Tom Evans, corporate intellectual property counsel for Mentor Graphics. “After the $36 million award by the District Court, we requested a hearing to determine further damages for infringing sales made after the close of discovery up through the injunction. Not only does the confirmation of the injunction and lost profits award vindicate our pursuit of this case, but it is informative of the scale of enhanced damages we might still obtain for infringement occurring after Synopsys knowingly terminated a license to the ‘376 patent by acquiring EVE, and for post-verdict activity characterized as willful illegal activity by the District Court. The reinstatement of the ‘882 patent also allows us to seek an injunction against the clocking arrangement employed by Synopsys’ emulators, which could prevent Synopsys from selling or replacing any system boards that employ Mentor’s patented clocking technology.”
In October of 2014 a jury found that Synopsys infringed several claims of the ’376 Patent and awarded Mentor Graphics more than $36 million in damages, and in March 2015 Mentor Graphics obtained a permanent injunction against Synopsys’ infringement.