Synopsys Circuit-Design Patent Claims Invalid Under Alice

By Beth Winegarner (January 20, 2015, 6:26 PM EST) -- Mentor Graphics Corp. scored a partial victory over Synopsys Inc. on Tuesday when a California federal judge ruled that the claims of three Synopsys patents on software that creates circuit schematics, which Synopsys says Mentor infringed, are invalid for lack of inventiveness under the U.S. Supreme Court's Alice ruling.

U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney granted Mentor's motion for summary judgment, finding that the asserted claims of the three Synopsys patents — known as the "Gregory patents" after inventor Brent Gregory — aren't patent-eligible. The patents are directed at an abstract idea and don't contain an inventive concept, both of which...

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