January 24, 2002
News Release 02-012
Inv. No. 337-TA-468

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN MICROLITHOGRAPHIC MACHINES AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain microlithographic machines and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are used in the manufacture of microelectronic devices such as microprocessors and memory chips.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Nikon Corporation of Tokyo, Japan; Nikon Precision Inc., of Belmont, CA; and Nikon Research Corporation of America of Belmont, CA; on December 21, 2001, and supplemented on January 10, 2002. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain microlithographic machines and components thereof that infringe U.S. patents owned by the complainants. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified the following as respondents in the investigation:

ASM Lithography Holding N.V., of Veldhoven, The Netherlands;
ASM Lithography B.V., of Veldhoven, The Netherlands; and
ASM Lithography, Inc., of Tempe, AZ.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-468), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Paul J. Luckern, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Luckern will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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