Veldhoven, the Netherlands, April 8, 2002
ASML today announces that two of Nikon's asserted patents in the field of microlithography are unenforceable due to fraudulent conduct by Nikon before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Microlithography equipment, used in the printing of semiconductors, is approximately a US $4.5 billion industry worldwide.
In addition, ASML filed an antitrust counterclaim in Northern California alleging that Nikon's patent case is an attempt by Nikon to reduce competition and to monopolize the US microlithography market, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. This act prohibits attempts to monopolize a market.
"Nikon is violating antitrust laws and violating ASML patents. Nikon is working in its own interests to make the market unfriendly to competition," said Doug Dunn, president and CEO of ASML. "ASML believes that an open market drives technology innovation and technology innovation drives the global economy. Nikon's actions hurt chip makers, their suppliers and customers."
Denial of patent infringement in California, Washington DC, and Arizona
ASML filed on April 5, 2002, in Northern California, its answer and counterclaim to the complaint filed by Nikon Corporation denying that it is infringing on any of five Nikon patents. ASML also asserts that all five patents are invalid.
At the same time, ASML also filed a counterclaim in the proceeding commenced by Nikon against ASML in the US International Trade Commission (ITC), based in Washington, DC. ASML's counterclaim alleges that Nikon has infringed five United States patents owned by ASML. Pursuant to the ITC's rules, ASML simultaneously transferred its counterclaim to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona where the counterclaim will be heard.
ASML filed its answer in the case before the US International Trade Commission on February 25, 2002.
ASML is one of the world's leading providers of advanced technology systems for the semiconductor industry. The company offers an integrated portfolio of lithography, track and thermal systems mainly for manufacturing complex integrated circuits. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq under the symbol 'ASML'. In 2001, the company reported net sales of over €1.8 billion. ASML employs approximately 7,000 people in 50 locations throughout the world.
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