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Nanometrics Believes KLA-Tencor Patent Infringement Claim Has No Merit; Lawsuit Possibly Motivated by Competitive Issues Rather Than Intellectual Property Rights.

MILPITAS, Calif. -- Nanometrics Incorporated (Nasdaq:NANO), a leading supplier of advanced integrated and standalone metrology equipment for the semiconductor industry, today announced that it has received notice of a patent infringement lawsuit brought by KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLAC), alleging infringement of US Patents No. 6,483,580 (the '580 Patent) and 6,590,656 (the '656 Patent).

Nanometrics believes that KLA's lawsuit is primarily motivated by competitive concerns rather than a desire to protect its intellectual property. Nanometrics firmly believes that its products do not infringe any valid claim of the '580 or '656 patents and will aggressively pursue its defense to this infringement action. In addition, Nanometrics is examining all of its options with respect to the intellectual property rights related to its superior technologies.

Nanometrics CEO John Heaton explained that the company's metrology and optical critical dimension technologies have become more important to the semiconductor industry. "As a result of this trend, our intellectual property portfolio is also growing in its significance," observed Heaton. Nanometrics intends to aggressively defend and protect its intellectual property rights. "We will defend ourselves from these claims and remain vigilant in protecting our own technology rights," stated Heaton.

About Nanometrics

Nanometrics is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-performance process control metrology systems used in the manufacture of semiconductors, integrated circuits and flat panel displays. Nanometrics metrology systems measure various thin film properties, critical circuit dimensions and layer-to-layer circuit alignment (overlay) during various steps of the manufacturing process, enabling semiconductor and integrated circuit manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity and lower their manufacturing costs. The Company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, CA, with sales and service offices worldwide. Nanometrics is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol NANO. Nanometrics' website is: http://www.nanometrics.com.

Safe Harbor Statement:

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements related to the outcome of any pending or threatened litigation and our intellectual property portfolio. Actual results may differ materially from those projected due to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among others, the strength of our intellectual property rights and technology, trends in our industry and commercial and strategic agreements. These and other risks are detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on March 23, 2005, and all subsequent filings.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 6, 2005
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