ASML files for patent infringement

Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer, ASML today announced that it filed a $95.5 million patent infringement complaint against Nikon Corporation of Japan in Tokyo District Court, Japan.

ASML Holding NV (ASML) today announced it filed a patent infringement complaint against Nikon Corporation of Japan in Tokyo District Court, Tokyo, Japan.

According to a statement, ASML seeks an injunction against Nikon to cease the manufacture and sale of lithography systems that are said to infringe on an ASML patent.

The ASML patent in question covers a technical device known as the wafer handler that moves silicon wafers through the lithography system.

The current patent infringement claim in Japan represents the third complaint ASML has filed against Nikon in the past five months.

‘ASML prefers to fight and win in the marketplace, not in the courtroom. However, Nikon has chosen to litigate rather than compete,’ said Doug Dunn, president and CEO, ASML. ‘Their unjust claim to our intellectual property will be vigorously contested.’

On 19 July 2002, the US District Court for the Northern District of California ordered that ASML’s claims against Nikon for patent misconduct and antitrust violations may proceed, denying Nikon’s motion to dismiss those claims. This case is expected to proceed to trial in 2004.

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