USITC to investigate Nikon claims against ASML

Jan. 25, 2002 – Washington, DC – The US International Trade Commission decided has decided to investigate whether Nikon’s patents have been infringed upon by Dutch company ASM Lithography.

The ITC was responding to complaints filed since Dec. 21 by Tokyo-based Nikon and its US subsidiaries, Nikon Precision Inc. and Nikon Research Corp.

The companies allege US trade law violations from ASML’s imports of microlithography equipment, and are asking for ASML’s imports of the products to be prohibited.

ITC administrative law judge Paul Luckern will make the initial decision whether Nikon’s claims are valid, and the commission will review his decision, reported Dow Jones. Over the next 45 days the ITC expects to set a target date for completing its work.

Last week ASML Chief Executive Doug Dunn said Nikon’s patent infringement lawsuit was “a surprise.”

“It strikes me that one possible reason (for the suit) is that they have lost so much market share (to ASML), they are desperate,” Dunn said. “We are confident we have not infringed the patent.”

ASML gained share in the semiconductor production equipment sector from its acquisition last year of Silicon Valley Group Inc. US authorities cleared the acquisition last May after the Dutch company made concessions to allay concerns about foreign ownership compromising national security.


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