On June 7, 1993, the Company filed suit against Altera Corporation (Altera) in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California for infringement of
certain of the Company's patents. Subsequently, Altera filed suit against the Company
alleging that certain of the Company's products infringe certain Altera patents. Fact and
expert discovery have been completed in both cases, which have been consolidated. In
October 1997, the Court held a hearing with respect to construction of the claims of the
various patents in suit.
On April 20, 1995, Altera filed an additional suit against the Company in Federal
District Court in Delaware alleging that the Company's XC5200 family infringes an Altera
patent. The Company answered the Delaware suit denying that the XC5200 family infringes
the patent in suit, asserting certain affirmative defenses and counterclaiming that the
Altera Max 9000 family infringes certain of the Company's patents. The Delaware suit was
transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Discovery has not begun.
The ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be determined at this time. Management
believes that it has meritorious defenses to such claims and is defending them vigorously,
and has not recorded a provision for the ultimate outcome of these matters in its
financial statements. The foregoing is a forward looking statement subject to risks and
uncertainties, and the future outcome could differ materially due to the uncertain nature
of the litigation with Altera and because the lawsuits are still in the pre-trial stage.
In addition, in the normal course of business, the Company receives and makes inquiries
with regard to possible patent infringement. Where deemed advisable, the Company may seek
or extend licenses or negotiate settlements. Outcomes of such negotiations may not be
determinable at any point in time; however, management does not believe that such licenses
or settlements will, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on
the Company's financial position or results of operations.
Return to Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements