Dechert, on behalf of its client Silvaco Data Systems, sued a number of chip manufacturers for purchasing software from Circuit Semantics.
Silvaco claims that Circuit Semantics had stolen Silvaco’s intellectual property. The novel approach in the case at hand was to then sue licensees of Circuit Semantics, whom Dechert said were on notice that the software was “tainted” due to Silvaco’s suits against Circuit Semantics.
Analogizing to eaters of pie (mmm pie) made from a stolen recipe, California’s 6th District Court of Appeal dismissed the claims against the manufacturers.
The massive, but futile filing, which didn’t make the judge very happy, and more BigLaw involvement after the jump.
According to the Recorder, the judge was none too pleased with Dechert’s logorrhea:
Aside from the legal merits, the court also had a bone to pick with Dechert about how the case “somehow generated an appendix over 8,000 pages in length.”
“Seldom have so many trees died for so little,” Rushing wrote.
Query whether Dechert lead counsel Jill Kopeikin (Washington BS ’89, Berkeley JD ’92) was suitably abashed:
“We always appreciate guidance from the court in terms of its expectations,” said Kopeikin.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe represented defendants Intel and Agilent; White & Case represented Cirrus.
(Not to get bogged down in substantive issues, we’ll leave those to smarter folks, like Eric Goldman, but it seems a bit odd that the Cirrus decision, at least, claims there’s no “use” of a trade secret when running compiled source code because there’s no human knowledge of the trade secret. That might not be a good slope to start down.)