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IP Enforcement

ASML has built up a strong portfolio of more than 10,000 patent rights through sustained high investment in Research and Development totaling more than EUR 8 billion since 2004.

On April 28, 2017, ASML filed initial legal claims against Nikon for infringement of more than 10 patents, related to a broad range of products in the fields of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, flat panel display manufacturing equipment and digital cameras. This followed Nikon’s announcement on April 24, 2017, that it has sued ASML. ASML categorically denies infringing any of Nikon’s patents.

ASML has filed lawsuits, both on its own and with its strategic partner ZEISS, in the District Court in Tokyo, in the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), as well as the District Court of the Central District of California.

This page provides additional information on the dispute for ASML's stakeholders.

ASML’s position

  • Over the past years, ASML has made numerous attempts to negotiate an extension of its cross-license agreement with Nikon. We are disappointed that Nikon did not make any serious efforts to negotiate and has opted for legal action instead. 
  • Nikon’s litigation is unfounded, unnecessary and creates uncertainty for the semiconductor industry.
  • ASML believes that Nikon’s claim is without merit. We will defend ourselves vigorously against the allegations. 
  • Given Nikon’s unwillingness to renew the cross-license agreement and their decision to take the dispute to court, we had no choice but to countersue Nikon for infringement of patents in order to protect our patent portfolio. 
  • ASML continues to believe that a negotiated outcome would have been preferable for the industry. This sort of unnecessary patent litigation distracts from what is truly important: driving technology forward for the benefit of chip makers. We should compete in the marketplace and not in court.

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