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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

EDAC’s Elephants in the Room: Do Patents Promote or Prohibit?

October 7th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

If you already know that EDAC is hosting a panel in San Jose on October 29th – “Patents & Patents Litigation: Develop, Strengthen, and Protect Your Intellectual Property” – you know the participants come from a variety of backgrounds:

John Cabeca, Director of the Silicon Valley US Patent & Trademarks Office; Karna Nisewaner, Associate General Counsel at Cadence; Robert Sachs, Partner at Fenwick & West; John Vandenberg, Partner at Klarquist Sparkman; Salumeh Loesch, Associate at Klarquist Sparkman; and Samuel Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose.

You probably also know, however, that no matter how much optimism and happy talk is thrown at the topic of patents – how to craft them, prosecute and litigate – the underlying controversy will never go away.

That catastrophic and philosophical disconnect between:

* Those who passionately believe that patents protect intellectual property rights: Patents have been and will continue to be an important part of every EDA companies’ assets, [protecting] the inventions and innovations that are the building blocks of an EDA company [and defining] the company’s value, investments, and technology.

* And those who believe just as passionately that patents create institutionalized roadblocks to prohibit competition: We were here first per our patents, so don’t even think of fomenting new ideas anywhere in the vicinity of our proprietary bread and butter. Innovation need not apply!

Of course, that controversy will not be on the evening’s agenda on October 29th.

The event is set instead to embrace cheerful pragmatism: “At the EDAC Patent Panel, we will discuss how to get highly technical patents through the Patent Office, how to protect your patents or potential inventions in the current legal landscape, and how to prepare against potential patent litigation.”

But what about the several EDA Elephants set to be standing in the room during the panel?

* Elephant A: Patents do not promote new technologies, but prohibit step-function innovations with incremental protectionism.

* Elephant B: There are essentially no small companies in EDA today, and the Big Guys already have their legal armies and armamentum in place. For pity’s sake, they certainly don’t need to be brought up to speed on patent law.

* Elephant C: Next to the medical devices industry, EDA is the most litigious industry on the planet. Any discussion of patent exploration, prosecution and litigation in EDA should include not just Cadence, but legal counsel from Synopsys and Mentor Graphics as well. But these last two guys are probably too busy staring each other down in patent court to ever appear together on a panel, or in any room with wine and cheese for that matter.

And there you have it, everything you need to know about EDAC’s event at the headquarters of SEMI Global in San Jose on October 29th.

* It’s about patents.
* It’s about the thorniest issue in EDA.
* It’s about elephants.

You should go, and not just for the wine and cheese. You can register here


To learn more …

* Patent Law 101: Prosecution

* Patent Law 101: Litigation


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