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Press release

Nikon, ASML and Carl Zeiss SMT sign Memorandum of Understanding

Provides for cross licenses of patents and settlement of legal proceedings

Tokyo, Japan; Veldhoven, the Netherlands; and Oberkochen, Germany, September 29, 2004

Nikon Corporation (Nikon), ASML Holding NV (ASML) and Carl Zeiss SMT AG (SMT) have agreed to a comprehensive settlement of legal proceedings and cross-license of patents related to lithography equipment used to manufacture semiconductor devices.


The Memorandum of Understanding is a binding agreement that continues the previously announced stays on all patent disputes pending between Nikon, ASML and SMT in Asia and the United States. The three companies expect to execute definitive settlement and cross-license agreements and dismiss all legal proceedings between the parties in November 2004.


The terms of the Memorandum include payments to Nikon by ASML and SMT. ASML will pay a total of US$87 million (approximately €71 million). An initial payment of US$60 million (approximately €47 million) will be made in 2004, with the remaining equal installments due in 2005, 2006 and 2007. SMT will pay a total of US$58 million (approximately €48 million). An initial payment of US$40 million (approximately €32 million) will be made in 2004, with the remaining equal installments due in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

About ASML


ASML is a leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, manufacturing complex machines that are critical to the production of integrated circuits or chips. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq under the symbol 'ASML'. For more information, visit the website at asml.com.

About Nikon


Since 1917, Nikon Corporation has been a leader in optical glass manufacturing. With continued growth and expertise, Nikon now offers a diverse range of industrial instruments, including steppers and scanners, microscopes and measuring instruments to complement a full line of semiconductor manufacturing related equipment.


Nikon Corporation is a leader in the lithography equipment market for the microelectronics manufacturing industry. These products serve the semiconductor, flat panel display (LCD) and thin-film magnetic head (TFH) industries. For more information about Nikon, access the website at www.nikon.co.jp (Japanese corporate site) or www.nikonprecision.com (English semiconductor equipment site).

About Carl Zeiss SMT


With a wide-ranging product portfolio, Carl Zeiss SMT meets the requirements of the key processes involved in microchip production, making it one of the leading direct and indirect suppliers to the semiconductor industry. As an innovation leader in the field of Lithography Optics and optical and electron beam-based inspection and measuring systems, Carl Zeiss SMT generates important momentum for further development in the chip industry. Visit www.zeiss.com for additional information.

Forward-looking statements


This document includes forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the parties’ ability to agree on the specific provisions of definitive agreements, as contemplated by the Memorandum of Understanding, the nature of those provisions and the time required to reach those agreements.

Contact information

  • Brittney Wolff
  • Corporate communications manager US
  • +14084833207