TOKYO -- The chairman of Tokyo Seimitsu Co. Ltd. refuted KLA-Tencor Corp.'s allegation of patent infringement in a lawsuit filed recently in the U.S. District Court of North California. Hideo Ohtsubo, who is also CEO of Tokyo Seimitsu, said KLA-Tencor's patent, covers automatic inspection technology for photomasks, is invalid and unenforceable.
Tokyo Seimitsu charged KLA-Tencor with deceptive conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Tokyo company also accused the San Jose-based metrology giant of violating U.S. antitrust laws.
Two months ago, KLA-Tencor announced it was suing Tokyo Seimitsu and TSK America Inc. for infringement of a 12-year-old patent, entitled "Automatic Photomask and Reticle Inspection Method and Apparatus, Including Improved Defect Detector and Alignment Sub-Systems" (see July 12 story). KLA-Tencor said it is seeking damages and an injunction against the defendants.