For fairly a while in litigation over immersion lithography, ASML, Carl Zeiss and Nikon, this week has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the plan to reshuffle these disputes and permit all events full entry to this expertise. Beneath the phrases of the deal, Nikon will obtain a one-time money cost and the three firms will signal a license settlement offering for a mutual license cost for 10 years.
Beneath the phrases of the settlement, ASML and Zeiss Nikon are paying 150 million euros ($ 169.68 million) and the three firms are paying zero.eight% royalties on the sale of immersion lithography instruments 10 years after completion the precise cross-licensing deal. Within the meantime, the three firms will drop all pending expenses in all courts of the world (together with the US ITC) and agree to not sue for immersion lithography (and digital cameras) through the interval.
Already in 2017 ASML had a market share of 85.four% of the lithography software market, Nikon a share of 10.three% and Cannon four.three% of shipments, The Data Community . Given the present state of the semiconductor manufacturing market, the upcoming deal for Nikon seems to be a transparent revenue that might be fairly massive within the subsequent decade with out paying equal quantities.
Though they don’t have the present market share of ASML, Nikon was one of many pioneers within the semiconductor trade with its lithography instruments. Consequently, the corporate holds many patents associated to chip manufacturing usually and immersion lithography specifically. When the Japanese semiconductor trade was on the rise within the 1980s and 1990s, Nikon managed 50% – 60% of the lithography software market, whereas ASML managed solely 12% – 25% of the shipments The Data Community . The state of affairs modified within the second half of the 1990s when American, Korean and Taiwanese firms (AMD, Intel, Micron, Samsung, TSMC, UMC, and many others.) served by ASML rose sharply and their manufacturing gear necessities additionally elevated improve. ASML offered Nikon in 2002 for the primary time when it comes to items and this began its authorized issues with the Japanese firm.
Nikon has filed the primary lawsuit in opposition to ASML and Zeiss (which offered ASML with optics), which accused it of patent infringement in late 2001 then accused ASML of Nikon patent infringement in 2002. Since then each have fought on each the Market in addition to within the courtroom pretty commonly. The 2 firms have settled in 2004. ASML and Zeiss paid Nikon royalties till 2009, however had been then discontinued. In 2017, Nikon once more sued ASML and its accomplice Zeiss. ASML and Zeiss sued Nikon in response.
This newest settlement implies that the corporate trio must be comparatively quiet once more subsequent month after signing the settlement subsequent month over the subsequent 10 years.