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Synopsys, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp.

Representative Claim

1. A method for converting a hardware independent user description of a logic circuit, that includes flow control statements including an IF statement and a GOTO statement, and directive statements that define levels of logic signals, into logic circuit hardware components comprising:

converting the flow control statements and directive statements in the user description for a logic signal Q into an assignment condition AL(Q) for an asynchronous;  load function AL( ) and an assignment condition AD(Q) for an asynchronous data function AD( );

and generating a level sensitive latch when both said assignment condition AL(Q) and said assignment condition AD(Q) are nonconstant; wherein said assignment condition AD(Q) is a signal on a data input line of said flow through latch;

said assignment condition AL(Q) is a signal on a latch gate line of said flow through latch;

and an output signal of said flow through latch is said logic signal Q.

Posture:

Appeal of grant of summary judgment of invalidity

Abstract Idea: Yes

Due to the breadth of the claims, the court found, under the first step of the Alice test, that “the claims are directed to a mental process . . . ‘a subcategory of unpatentable abstract ideas.’”

Something More: No

But, given that the claims are for a mental process, assignment conditions, which merely aid in mental translation as opposed to computer efficacy, are not an inventive concept that takes the Asserted Claims beyond their abstract idea.