Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Fair Trade Commission investigating Applied Materials over patent dispute


Applied Materials Inc, the world's biggest semiconductor-production equipment maker, said it is being investigated by the Fair Trade Commission over a patent dispute with South Korean rival Jusung Engineering Co.

The commission is investigating whether Applied unit AKT Inc broke rules by informing customers that it had patents rights that Jusung was infringing, Applied said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Although Applied believes there has been no violation, neither the extent nor the outcome of the investigation can be determined at this time," the filing said. "Applied believes that the outcome will not have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or results of operations."

The dispute began last December when Santa Clara, California-based Applied filed a lawsuit in this country alleging that Jusung was infringing patents it holds on machinery used to make liquid-crystal displays.

Applied won an injunction on Dec. 25 stopping Jusung from importing, selling or servicing certain types of flat-panel equipment. Jusung appealed the injunction and had it lifted on March 30. Applied appealed and has had the injunction reinstated.

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