In a recurring scenario that has become much too common in the emulation market, Mentor and EVE are once again entering into legal proceedings regarding infringements of intellectual property. This is as old a story as the introduction of an emulation product by a company different from the one that had the first product on the market. Patent infringement claims go back twenty years or more, drag on for a very long time with the intent of bleeding the smaller of the adversaries, and almost always result in either an out-of-court settlement or in finding of innocence. It is interesting that this time the battle ground of choice is Japan. What commercial interests are in danger there? As you can read, Mentor's press release is at best laconic in detailing the cause of such action. Has EVE introduced a new product that uses different architecture from its legal products anywhere else in the world? Or does Mentor market a variation on its products in Japan that contains IP not found in the rest of the world?
Mentor's Press Release
Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced it had filed an import suspension application against EVE emulation products in Japan with the Japanese Customs Office.
The filing requests that Japanese Customs issue a ruling that EVE emulation products infringe Mentor Graphics’ intellectual property. The application also requests that, upon making such a determination, the Japanese Customs Office bar importation of EVE products into Japan.
EVE Will Vigorously Defend Itself Against Mentor Graphics Corporation’s Allegation
This is EVE's press release in response to the first salvo fired by Mentor.
Following EVE’s announcement June 29 stating record quarterly bookings of $19.9 million, Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) announced yesterday that it had filed an import suspension application against EVE emulation products in the Japanese Customs Office.
“The timing of Mentor Graphics Corporation’s announcement is curious,” said Dr. Luc Burgun, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of EVE. “We are going to vigorously defend our rights and show that our products do not infringe any patent owned by Mentor Graphics Corporation in Japan or anywhere else. This complaint will not distract us from our mission to become the undisputed leader in hardware/software co-verification. EVE will continue to deliver the most innovative standard-FPGA based emulators on the market.”
“We are committed to support our customers and will keep our focus on making sure they are successful with their projects,” added Hiroyuki Iseri, general manager of EVE KK in Yokohama, Japan.