In May 2000, San Jose, California-based Ultratech Stepper, Inc., a technology company producing nanotechnology application tools and equipment for semiconductor fabrication plants, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against its Dutch competitor ASML. Ultratech claimed that ASML had infringed its patent rights on the manufacturing and commercialization of photolithography equipment in the United States.
Irell & Manella LLP partner Morgan Chu assumed the role as lead counsel in ASML’s defense. From May through June 2005, the case was tried in Oakland, California, before a jury. Though the jury found that ASML had infringed the patents, it unanimously determined that each of the patent claims was invalid, and the court ultimately ruled in ASML’s favor.
Ultratech attempted to overturn the jury’s decision on the patents’ invalidity and sought a new trial, but its attempts were denied by the court, as was the appeal filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The Los Angeles Daily Journal named the case among the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts for 2005.” ASML is currently the world’s largest provider of semiconductor industry photolithography systems.