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Novellus Sues Applied Materials

June 24, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

San Jose-based Novellus Systems Inc. escalated its legal fights with chip equipment rival Applied Materials Inc., suing Applied for allegedly infringing a patent that Novellus had acquired from another company hours earlier. Novellus said Santa Clara-based Applied Materials, the largest maker of equipment used to make semiconductors, infringed patents held by the thin-film unit of Palo Alto-based Varian Associates Inc. Novellus announced its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, just hours after buying the Varian unit for $150 million in cash. The suit comes a month after Novellus said it would pay Applied Materials $80 million in damages and a royalty fee to settle an infringement suit filed by Applied. The Novellus suit seeks damages for violating the patents. Applied Materials executives couldn't be reached for comment. Novellus shares rose $2.44 to close at $83.25 on Nasdaq. Varian rose 12.5 cents to close at $53.375 on the NYSE. Applied Materials shares gained 6 cents to close at $70.31 on Nasdaq.

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