After nearly two years of legal battle, Nikon, ASML and Carl Zeiss are about to settle all litigations. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will settle of all legal proceedings over patents for lithography equipment and digital cameras. By this agreement, Carl Zeiss and ASML are due to pay Nikon a total of €150 million, or approximately $170 million.
Just over a year ago, we reported on a lawsuit filed by Nikon against Zeiss and ASML. They accused the two companies of using Nikon’s patented lithography tech without permission or licenses. Now, a court has ruled that Zeiss and ASML did not infringe upon Nikon’s patent, and has ordered Nikon to pay €475,000 in court fees.
This little saga started a couple of months ago, but now the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has opened an official patent infringement investigation. Reuters reports that the ITC launched the probe on Friday into Nikon digital cameras, software and components. This comes in response to complains filed against Nikon by Carl Zeiss and ASML.
Of course, Nikon started this fight, filing lawsuits against Zeiss and ASML back in April. They accused the two companies of using Nikon’s patented lithography technology without permission or licenses. Several days later, both Zeiss and ASML filed their own countersuits claiming Nikon had their technogy inside Nikon’s digital cameras.