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ASM REDUCED-PRESSURE EPITAXIAL REACTOR LITIGATION STATUS

BILTHOVEN, The Netherlands, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- ASM International N.V. (Nasdaq: ASMIF) and its subsidiaries, ASM America, Inc. and Epsilon Technology Inc. announced that on March 7th Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose ruled in a patent lawsuit between ASM and Applied Materials, Inc. that ASM can continue to provide reduced-pressure reactors with ribbed quartz chambers through June 15, 1996. The suit involves ASM's current Ribbed Quartz Reduced Pressure Epitaxial Reactor, a version of the highly-successful Epsilon One reactor family, which version accounted for less than 5 percent of ASM International's total revenues for 1995.

ASM has previously announced that an improved non-infringing process chamber will be available in June. After June 15, 1996, only reduced-pressure reactors with the new chamber will be shipped. The alternative technology has demonstrated improved performance and is retrofitable to existing reduced-pressure Epsilon Ones. Patent applications have been filed on the new chamber as well as on many other unique features. Currently, the Epsilon One reactor is protected by 30 patents.

Following a request by ASM, Judge Whyte agreed that ASM can continue to do standard maintenance and support including the shipment of ribbed quartz chambers for the installed base. In granting this relief and the requested transition period until June 15th, during which certain restrictions apply, the court noted, "ASM at great expense appears to have independently developed the ribbed quartz reduced-pressure chamber at issue" and "although Applied patented the invention, it has never commercialized a reactor using the patented design." ASM will still appeal the court's ruling that the patents are valid.

The present decision does not impact any pending ASM litigation against Applied. Two of four pending ASM suits against Applied, alleging Applied's Centura and Precision 5000 reactors infringe ASM's patents, are scheduled for trial in July and October, 1996.

Advanced Semiconductor Materials International N.V. (ASM International), headquartered in Bilthoven, The Netherlands, designs, manufactures and markets equipment and materials used to produce semiconductor devices. The Company provides production solutions for the wafer processing, assembly and encapsulation areas through its facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. U.S. operations are headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
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/CONTACT: Mary Jo Dieckhaus, 212-686-8144, for ASM International N.V./

(ASMIF)

CO: ASM International N.V.; ASM America, Inc.; Epsilon Technology Inc.;

Applied Materials, Inc. ST: New York, Arizona IN: CPR SU:

PS-DC -- NYF043 -- 1656 03/08/96 14:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1996
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