ITC Issues Initial Determination in FormFactor’s Wafer Probecard ITC Action
June 30, 2009
LIVERMORE, Calif. – June 30, 2009 – FormFactor, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORM)
FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ:FORM – News) announced today the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned to the International Trade Commission’s (Commission) investigation of probecard manufacturers Phicom Corporation and Micronics Japan Company, Ltd., Investigation No. 337- TA-621, issued an Initial Determination declining to find a violation of Section 337.
The Initial Determination is directed to four FormFactor patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,994,152, entitled “Fabricating Interconnects and Tips Using Sacrificial Substrates,” 6,509,751, entitled “Planarizer for a Semiconductor Contactor,” 6,615,485, entitled “Probe Card Assembly and Kit, And Methods of Making Same,” and 7,225,538, entitled “Resilient Contact Structures Formed and Then Attached to a Substrate.” The Initial Determination found all of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,509,751, 6,615,485 and 7,225,538 not invalid, and all but one of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,994,152 not invalid, but declined to find infringement of any of the asserted claims. The ALJ released only 4 pages of the Initial Determination and a confidential version of the full Initial Determination is expected to be received in the next day or two. A complete public version of the Initial Determination is not yet available.
“We will carefully assess the ALJ’s full Initial Determination when it is available to determine the appropriateness of requesting the Commission to review portions of the ALJ’s recommendations that are unfavorable to FormFactor,” said Stuart Merkadeau, FormFactor’s senior vice president, general counsel. “We are pleased the Initial Determination confirms the validity of our patent rights as our continuing investment in innovation enables technologies and products that help our customers lower their overall cost of test. We remain committed to protecting this investment, and preventing the unauthorized use of our intellectual property as one part of our global protection strategy.”
The ALJ’s decision, termed an “Initial Determination,” is subject to review by the Commission. FormFactor and the respondents may provide additional briefing to aid Commission review of the ALJ’s Initial Determination. The Commission can accept, reject or modify any of the ALJ’s recommendations. The Commission is expected to announce which aspects of the recommendations it will review within 45 days, and the final determination is scheduled to be issued by October 29, 2009.
The Company also has patent infringement lawsuits pending in two federal courts; in Oregon against Phicom and in California against Micronics Japan Company. Both actions were stayed after initiation of the Commission investigation, but include other FormFactor patents not at issue before the Commission. The Company is evaluating these pending district court actions in light of the Initial Determination.
FormFactor’s advanced wafer probe card products and solutions are relied upon by its customers to increase their testing efficiency and enable their technology roadmaps. The Company believes the Initial Determination will have no immediate business impact.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding our products and solutions, demand for our products and future growth. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations that are inherently subject to change and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results might differ materially from those in any forward-looking statement due to various factors, including, but not limited to: the company’s ability to defend its intellectual property rights in the United States and elsewhere in the world; losses or adverse rulings relating to the company’s intellectual property or intellectual property litigations, including any invalidation or limitation of the company’s patents; changes in patent laws, regulation or enforcement, or other factors that might affect the company’s ability to protect its intellectual property; and the company’s ability to develop, manufacture and deliver customized technologies and products that meet its customers’ ever- evolving test requirements, lower their overall cost of test and enable their technology roadmaps. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statement is contained in the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 27, 2008 and Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 28, 2009 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and subsequent SEC filings. Copies of the company’s SEC filings are available at http://investors.formfactor.com/edgar.cfm. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release, to revise any forward-looking statements or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements.