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Advanced Micro-fabrication Equipment Inc.Prevails For The Second Time In Patent Infringement Suit Filed Against The Company By Lam Research In Taiwan
SHANGHAI, TAIPEI, and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 26, 2011—Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) announced that it has prevailed for the second time in a patent infringement lawsuit filed against AMEC subsidiaries by Lam Research Corporation (LAM) in the Intellectual Property Court of Taiwan ("IP Court"). In a decision rendered last Thursday, the IP Court dismissed LAM's appeal of its earlier trial court defeat.
In a separate matter, AMEC also scored a victory in Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office ("TIPO"). Yesterday, TIPO deemed LAM's TW patent 126873 (a focus ring patent) invalid because the claims lack novelty and non-obviousness. The patent was the subject of threatened litigation by LAM against AMEC in Taiwan.
LAM initiated litigation in the IP Court in January 2009. The litigation centered on LAM's charge that AMEC's Primo D-RIE™ dielectric etching equipment infringed LAM's TW Patent I36,706 (a confinement ring patent). AMEC defended on non-infringement and invalidity grounds, and concurrently filed to invalidate LAM's confinement ring and focus ring patents in TIPO. The focus ring patent had also been at issue in the IP Court action but was eventually withdrawn from consideration by LAM, leaving the parties to concentrate on the confinement ring debate in the IP Court, while continuing the issue of the focus ring in TIPO.
In September 2009, the IP Court dismissed LAM's confinement ring patent lawsuit at the trial court level. LAM appealed the IP Court's decision. On January 20 2011, following lengthy deliberations, the court rejected the appeal and once again ruled in favor of AMEC. The IP Court's formal published decision is expected next month.
AMEC has thus been vindicated in actions brought or threatened by LAM in two key areas of Primo D-RIE technology and in both of the intellectual property forums of Taiwan.
"We are pleased with the latest rulings," said AMEC's chief executive officer, Dr. Gerald Z. Yin. "We have made it abundantly clear that creating unique intellectual property (IP) and honoring the integrity of competitors' IP are fundamental to our business strategy. We refuse to be distracted by infringement accusations that have no basis in reality. Notwithstanding LAM's actions, our differentiated etch product has gained a strong foothold in Taiwan and other regions."
About Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc.
Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) is a leading Asia-based semiconductor equipment company with proprietary wafer fabrication solutions designed to advance technology, increase productivity and reduce manufacturing costs for leading global semiconductor manufacturers. AMEC's systems combine unique technology solutions with economic innovations for the 65/45/32-nm nodes and beyond. The company maintains R&D, manufacturing, business and support operations in China, with sales and support organizations in Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. To learn more, please visit www.amec-inc.com.