That John Cooley built his blogger reputation by promoting himself as the White Knight representing users against the oppressor Synopsys is well known. But that John Cooley easily navigated legal issues was a well kept secret until October 25, 2013. Reading his latest "scoop" against Synopsys I was surprised by the amount of legal insight that John displays, and how quickly he can reach the conclusion that the matter is resolved against Synopsys and in favor of Atoptech on 8 of the 9 claims made by Synopsys against Atoptech. If you have not read the piece you can find it here.
The problem for John is that the matter is not at all concluded. What the judge wants is more information and has not at all rendered a final judgment. It is true that Judge Samuel Conti has found that 8 of the claims are not supported factually enough to allow him to render a final judgment, but these things progress by degree. What I mean is that the Plaintiff, in this case Synopsys, reveals the material it thinks is sufficient. The judge actually helped Synopsys by saying in common parlance: "I see the smoke, now show me the fire". The Judge believes that the fire must be there, otherwise Synopsys claims would have been dismissed without possibility to amend.
It turns out more details are needed and the plaintiff must decide if it is better to end the proceedings or expose more facts. John's conclusion that :" You'd think with the $1.75 billion that SNPS made in FY12, Aart could hire lawyers who weren't filing such vague and sloppy lawsuits..." shows to me that he has no experience in the way a suit like this one is prepared. There is a lot of work that goes on between engineering and the legal department to develop the material included in the suit. The fault in this particular instance is that in guarding what engineering and legal regarded as proprietary information they were too strict. It is also possible that the legal team did not fully understand what engineering was saying and the resulting verbiage was too vague.
John's claim that "Does all this "open" Interop talk suddenly fly out the window the moment you're a small EDA start-up that happens to make a better P&R tool that threatens IC Compiler?" has no truth in reality. There is a difference between fostering interoperability by putting formats in the public domain, and having a competitor obtain such formats in an improper manner. Synopsys has been and is a member of various standards making working groups that have enable interoperability in EDA. This is a fundamental legal issue that apparently barrister John fails to understand. May be it is the box of Franzia white zinfandel John won at the Fifty Years of EDA celebration that wrote the piece.