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Cadence Design Systems Inc. Message Board

  • cdn_long_term cdn_long_term Jul 27, 2001 5:42 PM Flag

    AVNT melting down...

    How sweet it is...choice tidbits rom EE Times article on AVNT's self-destruction:

    "Desai also cited rumors that Avanti may be negotiating a purchase deal with Cadence, whose source code Avanti founders stole beginning in 1991."

    "Financial and industry analysts reported that Avanti was hemorrhaging R&D brain power and also losing application engineers as well as customers.

    Avanti's power-user customers now have several alternatives..."

    "Smith said that Avanti has been steadily losing key R&D employees since last October, and that he believes the company won't have a competitive product for the next-generation IC implementation tool set. "They still don't have a viable synthesis engine, and I think it will take them three years to rebuild their R&D staff � they will likely miss this next retooling cycle," he said."

    "The company is going to need to work very hard to re-establish its credibility in the marketplace," said Frerichs. "The restructuring of the top management is a step in the right direction, but a truly independent board of directors is needed, and a lot of work needs to be done. So the question becomes: Will they take the necessary steps to restore Avanti as a strong competitor? Wall Street is saying 'no.' "

    Question is: how will the AVNT situation benefit CDN? I've been surprised at CDN stock's non-reaction since and during the recent events. Thoughts?

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    • Good. I'm glad we agree. I guess I consider the code as the "product" and the algorythms as the underlying "knowledge" or theory. Sorry for the confusion.

    • OK, now I agree with you.
      The qualification of AVNT having to remove copyrighted code is the big difference.

      Unfortunately, your original post didn't make this claim, you simply said that the signing would "give any employee moving over (up until then) a free pass to use knowledge gained at CDN in AVNT products". As written, this would include copyrighted code.

      I apologise for calling it a stupid post, I should have re-directed the stupidity where it was more deserved, at CDN.

    • I'm not judging. I'm going by statments made by the participants and news reports. It was a release of possible trade secret theft claims in exchange for a halt to "employee theft". That's why the original code could be "cleaned" after the copyright theft was discovered in 1996. All AVNT had to do was remove copyrighted code (which is criminally illegal) and they could continue selling their P&R product WITH the CDN algorythms.

      CDN is now attempting to say that AVNT continued "stealing" employees which makes the agreement void. AVNT has countered saying the language of the agreement didn't link the two stipulations together so "stealing" employees doesn't void the agreement.

      The only reason you think my statement is ridiculous is because you don't believe CDN would sign away their pre-1994 trade secrets. But that's what happened. I find that humorous.

    • I think we have already agreed that it was stupid of CDN to sign the agreement, but without knowing the specifics, how can we judge what they actually agreed to?
      I still don't believe that any company would deliberately sign away all of their trade secrets to the main competitor...it just doesn't make sense.
      Logically, I can only assume that CDN was unaware of the amount of code that AVNT had aquired, but only those involved know what really happened.

    • You still haven't explained to me why CDN signed their trade secret rights away?

      The agreement was filed in court. It should be available.

    • Doesn anyone remember how dismally inept cdn customer support was in 93-94? Does anyone remember the ridiculous deals they were throwing down to retain customers? Much like avnt today, back then at cdn you were either "in the circle" or not. Those in the circle seemed to get paid handsomely whether they performed or not. Those outside the circle received little recognition for thier hard work. People were leaving in droves, and avnt - excuse me, arcsys provided an exciting new frontier. It is quite probable that the agreement was a cdn defensive move. Within his own group at cdn, GH had a loyal following among those he wanted loyalty from. "Wherever he goes, he's gonna take a lot of talent with him" was the general sentiment, I think.

    • No, I'm not going to get dragged into an endless batlle of words and wit with you.
      Dance as much as you like, but your comment was stupid...live with it and get on with life.

    • Porman,

      No, unfortunately I don't have a copy of the 1994 agreement (and I doubt that anyone outside of CDN and AVNT will), and without it we can speculate 'till the cows come home over what was covered in it.

      While I totally agree that CDN signing this agreement was stupid, your commens is still pretty funny.

    • And I used to think you had some knowledge of this case, but you apparently don't. AVNT USED this argument as a defense in the restitution hearing in an attempt to lessen their liability. Judge Rushing (I believe) said that AVNT couldn't hide behind the agreement in an attempt to duck the CRIMINAL act, which was COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. CDN's lawyers even attempted to get rid of the agreement during the case saying it was a civil matter. WHy? Because the language isn't favorable to their position. Face it. CDN made a huge mistake.

      That still allows AVNT to use knowledge gained at CDN by their employees prior to the agreement including non-patented algorythms. And that STILL means that CDN wasn't keeping the code a trade secret, which must be proven by the plaintiff in a trade secret trial.

    • No. It was the stupidest AGREEMENT I've ever seen between two companies. Tell me, oh great one, what was the reason they signed the thing? It looks to me like situation was the following. AVNT had been hiring CDN engineers. CDN couldn't stop it and was worried about a technology drain to AVNT. They agreed, in principle, that AVNT should top hiring CDN employees in the future and CDN would release any trade secrets gained till then. Is this not the case? If it is, then my statement stands that CDN essentially gave any employee moving over a free pass to use knowledge gained.

      I was not following these companies back then so I don't know all the ins and outs of that agreement. I'd like to see a copy of it. Do you have one?

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