Court Rules Against Circuit Semantics, Inc. in Source Code Theft Case

SANTA CLARA, Calif., — October 25, 2002

After filing the second amended complaint (see chronology below,) Silvaco specifically identified the trade secrets claimed to have been misappropriated by Circuit Semantics, Inc. (CSI). These trade secrets relate primarily to enhanced device models and analysis routines implemented in Silvaco's highly popular analog circuit simulator SmartSpice™, and to extraction and LVS-related functions implemented in other Silvaco software tools.

On October 8th 2002, CSI asked the Santa Clara county Superior Court to rule that CSI had not misappropriated the trade secrets identified by Silvaco. In response, Silvaco presented evidence demonstrating that CSI had enhanced hundreds of lines of source code in the circuit simulation engine used by CSI's products in a manner identical to the source code in Silvaco's SmartSpice.

Silvaco also presented evidence from a third party that noted extensive similarities in outputs from both CSI's and Silvaco's code, which was noted to be reasonably possible only if the products shared the same source code.

After reviewing all of the materials presented by CSI and Silvaco, the court ruled against CSI. Court's ruling.

Chronology of the Legal Action:

The original complaint was filed against two former Silvaco employees Aliaksandr Viacheslavovich Antonau and Nikolay Rubanov. This complaint alleges that Rubanov removed source code listings, floppy disks, backup tapes, meeting notes among other confidential company information when he left Silvaco. The complaint also alleges that Antonau, when confronted by Silvaco management, admitted that he was leaving Silvaco and joining Rubanov at a company whose name he refused to disclose.

In response to the original complaint, Rubanov and Antonau filed a cross-complaint. To discourage Silvaco from pursuing the legal action they included a long list of allegations against Silvaco. These allegations, however, were subsequently withdrawn by the defendants after adverse rulings by the court.

Through discovery in the action Silvaco learned that the two defendants, months before leaving Silvaco, had accepted offers to join Circuit Semantics as employees . Silvaco also learned that Circuit Semantics is paying for their defense of the lawsuit. Silvaco filed The First Amended Complaint , adding Circuit Semantics as a defendant.

Further discovery through source code comparison by Silvaco's attorneys and expert witnesses demonstrated that CSI had enhanced hundreds of lines of source code in the circuit simulation engine used by CSI's products in a manner identical to the source code in Silvaco's SmartSpice. The discovery also correlated the activities of Rubanov, Antonau and Circuit Semantics in the manner as described in the Second Amended Complaint.


Silvaco intends to vigorously pursue this matter through all legal means until justice is obtained against Antonau, Rubanov and Circuit Semantics, Inc.

SmartSpice is a trademark of Silvaco International

For More Information Contact:

Dr. Ivan Pesic
CEO, President
(408) 654-4309
Silvaco International