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Synopsys Inc. Message Board

  • magmaniac1 magmaniac1 Apr 18, 2004 2:40 PM Flag

    Smells Like Gerry Hsu

    Plain and simple: In layman's terms, SNPS tendered an offer for MOSY without prior knowledge of the UniRAM debacle. Upon further investigation of the suit, it can only be assumed that where there's smoke, there's fire. Aart's reputation is at stake and he'll have nothing to do with tainted goods, right?

    You think that with all the deals SNPS has pulled off to date, they would have all the angles covered. Shame on you Steve Shevick!

    Looks like a long, legal battle that will mire both companies. A chead or two may roll.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk

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    • Good point!

    • <<The next CC should be interesting.>>

      Probably not as interesting as we'd like, since Aart will have at least one litigator sitting at his elbow, and a list of "Questions Likely to be Asked and Suggested Responses Thereto" on the table in front of him.

    • <<despite the self-delusional postings of MOSY supporters on the MOSY board, is there any prospect whatsoever that any court will ever order SNPS to carry out the merger. My prediction is that that lawsuit will soon fade in significance>>

      You're probably correct. However, a couple hundred million in market cap disappeared for Mosy share holders. You can probably add another ten million to the ten million when its all-said-and-done.

      The next CC should be interesting.

    • <<Are you just trying to divert attention from the Mosys debacle? >>

      No. That should be our main subject, in fact. I've since reviewed the disclosure document, though not the actual agreement it describes. Unless that disclosure document significantly overstates the grounds on which SNPS may terminate upon payment of a $10M penalty (or even, arguably, WITHOUT paying any penalty), that lawsuit will not result in any damage award to MOSY. Nor, despite the self-delusional postings of MOSY supporters on the MOSY board, is there any prospect whatsoever that any court will ever order SNPS to carry out the merger. My prediction is that that lawsuit will soon fade in significance, leaving us, nonetheless, with a non-legal question about SNPS management: "What were they thinking when they did that deal, and what happened afterward to make them think differently?" I'd sure like some explanation, so that I'm not left to conclude that my heretofore unquestioning confidence in SNPS management ought to be leavened with a teaspoonful of doubt and caution.

    • Wizard

      It takes two to settle. Not sure about your motivation - why the hard line stance? Why defend a position that is suspect at best? There were clearly enough smoking guns to conclude that Avant! was much less than a good citizen (I'm being nice). Like the 20/20 guy says, "Gimmie a break."

      What are your thoughts about O.J.?

      Are you just trying to divert attention from the Mosys debacle?

    • <<If a student (Avant!) 'happens' to find the answers (Source Code) to a test they are about to take. That Student (Avant!) glances over the test questions and answers (Source Code) and THEN takes the test. Would that student (Avant!) have gained an unfair advantage over the teacher and the rest of the students (Cadence and other EDA companies) that have not seen the test questions and answers or thought those Q&A's were still 'secret'?>>

      The key word in your message is the first word: "If". IF Cadence had been able to show that Avant! had gained an advantage from its knowledge of Cadence's code, THEN Cadence would have established trade secret misappropriation. Cadence succeeded in doing that with respect to the database/GUI code, but then that effort got undercut by the trial court's ruling that Cadence had authorized Avant! to use that code. Cadence did NOT succeed, however, in establishing that Avant!'s knowledge of any OTHER Cadence code gave Avant! any advantage whatsoever in Avant!'s development of its own code.

      Maybe Cadence would have been able to do so at trial, but its contentions on the non-database/GUI code never, shall we say, struck fear in the heart of Avant! or anyone else who considered them dispassionately. That's why Cadence was so eager to settle once it saw the courts were no longer going to let it complain about the database/GUI code. It kept up the "coulda been a contender" talk about the other code, but it wasn't willing to roll the dice on that because it, and everyone else who followed the case closely, knew that its case was WAY overstated once you took away the database/GUI code.

    • wizard65454 writes:
      >
      >1. Avant! didn't get to be successful because of stolen Cadence code. Evil or innocent, Avant! removed that code
      >pronto once Cadence sued, and its temporary possession of that code provided it no material advantage in developing
      >its impressive suite of products that outclassed Cadence's products. (It's worth mentioning, by the way,
      >that many of Avant!'s products were developed by acquired companies that indisputably had no Cadence IP available
      >to them).

      Wizard,

      Frankly, this is a bogus argument.

      If a student (Avant!) 'happens' to find the answers (Source Code) to a test they are about to take. That Student (Avant!) glances over the test questions and answers (Source Code) and THEN takes the test. Would that student (Avant!) have gained an unfair advantage over the teacher and the rest of the students (Cadence and other EDA companies) that have not seen the test questions and answers or thought those Q&A's were still 'secret'?

      Any logically thinking person would say YES, there is a VERY high probability that that Student (Avant!) used the test Q&A's (Source Code) to its (Avant!'s) advantage.

      It's hard to argue that Avant! R&D was able to develop "their" products in such an incredibly fast timeframe without having been privy to the 'Questions and Answers' to the test.

      My opinion is that Avant! got caught before they had opportunity to exploit ALL of their stolen trade secrets taken from Cadence.

      UDKD

    • Wizard65454 writes:

      >Suppose you stole some bricks from your neighbor but he doesn't know it. Later, he signs an agreement forgiving you for everything you've done wrong, even if he doesn't know about it, and you pay him for releasing you. A few months later, he finds out a few of the bricks in your house foundation were stolen from him years ago. He demands that you remove the bricks from your house. You remind him that your brick theft happened years before he forgave you for everything, even things he didn't know about. He replies: "I'm not complaining about your having lived in your house up to the day I forgave you. What upsets me is that you're CONTINUING to live in a house built with bricks you stole from me. I only forgave you for what you did in the past. Surely you can't have interpreted that to mean you could continue living in your house."

      This would make some sense if the guy who stole the bricks did not proceed to steal the neighbor's car after the brouhaha about the bricks. He repainted it, and changed the tires, but an investigation shows it's the neighbor's car all right. It was stolen well after the forgiveness was granted.

      Play judge: What do you think?

    • <<Let us say you build a house and you steal something from your neighbour to build it. Your neighbour finds it so both of you go to the court. You claim you just take a brick but your neighbour claims you have stolen a kitchen. We should leave these kinds of disputes to their lawyers instead of discussing here forever.>>

      Oh, come on -- it's fun to play lawyer -- we all do it! Give it a try:

      Suppose you stole some bricks from your neighbor but he doesn't know it. Later, he signs an agreement forgiving you for everything you've done wrong, even if he doesn't know about it, and you pay him for releasing you. A few months later, he finds out a few of the bricks in your house foundation were stolen from him years ago. He demands that you remove the bricks from your house. You remind him that your brick theft happened years before he forgave you for everything, even things he didn't know about. He replies: "I'm not complaining about your having lived in your house up to the day I forgave you. What upsets me is that you're CONTINUING to live in a house built with bricks you stole from me. I only forgave you for what you did in the past. Surely you can't have interpreted that to mean you could continue living in your house."

      Play judge: What do you think?

    • I don't know what Avant! INTENDED -- never have known, and never will. I agree one would be crazy to assume that the people who stole the code just planned to browse through it to help them fall asleep on hot summer nights. Nor do I suggest that Cadence's lawsuit had no effect on what use Avant! intended to make of the Cadence code -- once again, I never have known the answer to that question, and never will. My points are limited to these:

      1. Avant! didn't get to be successful because of stolen Cadence code. Evil or innocent, Avant! removed that code pronto once Cadence sued, and its temporary possession of that code provided it no material advantage in developing its impressive suite of products that outclassed Cadence's products. (It's worth mentioning, by the way, that many of Avant!'s products were developed by acquired companies that indisputably had no Cadence IP available to them).

      2. If the case had gone to trial and judgment, and the California Supreme Court had decided the key trade secret question as it in fact decided it, Avant! would not have had to pay any material amount, if any amount at all, to Cadence, and Gerry Hsu would never have been indicted. The 1991 thieves would have been, but Hsu could not have been charged for allowing Avant! to continue selling stolen products since the court would have decided that Cadence had effectively granted Avant! permission to continue using that code.

      I believe your understanding of the legal standards is not correct. "Reasonable doubt" is a criminal standard. My understanding is that the standard for an injunction is typically phrased as a "likelihood of success on the merits [in the civil case, which is basically a 51/49 standard]". Apparently, Cadence was unable to satisfy that standard.

      SEE PART 2.

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