Nanometrics Incorporated (Nasdaq:NANO), a leading supplier of advanced metrology equipment to the semiconductor industry, announced it has reached a settlement of the three patent suits between Nanometrics and Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. During a settlement conference on April 11, 2007, Nanometrics and Nova Measuring agreed to dismiss, without prejudice, all pending patent litigation between the two parties, and have entered into a covenant not to sue one another for any patent for a period of one year.
The settlement, upon court approval, will terminate the three lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The patent litigation between Nanometrics and Nova Measuring began in March of 2005, when Nova Measuring initiated a suit claiming Nanometrics infringed on certain integrated metrology products. This case was scheduled to begin trial on May 29th of this year. A second suit, initiated by Nanometrics in March of 2006, related to claims of infringement by Nova Measuring of certain UV calibration technology owned by Nanometrics and was currently on stay. The third suit, initiated by Nanometrics in October of 2006, related to certain scatterometry optical critical dimension technology owned by Nanometrics and was moving towards trial.
“We are pleased with the outcome,” commented Bruce C. Rhine, president and chief executive officer of Nanometrics. “While we remain confident in our position regarding these intellectual property matters, we are moving on to compete in the marketplace rather than in the court system. The termination of the litigation will result in a substantial reduction in our expenses going forward.”
Nanometrics is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-performance process control metrology systems used in semiconductor manufacturing. Nanometrics standalone and integrated metrology systems measure various thin film properties, critical dimensions, overlay control and optical, electrical and material properties, including the structural composition of silicon and compound semiconductor devices, during various steps of the manufacturing process. These systems enable semiconductor manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity and lower their manufacturing costs. The Company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, California, with sales and service offices worldwide. Nanometrics is traded on NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol NANO.