Camtek-Rudolph Dispute is Finally Over
1 August, 2017
After 12 years, Camtek and Rudolph Technologies has reached a final Settlement: Camtek to pay $13 million, and all the lawsuits between the companies will be withdrawn
Rudolph Technologies (Wilmington, Mass.) and Camtek Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) has finally decided to end their patent infringement dispute after 12 years in court houses. According to the settlement agreement signed this week between the two companies, Camtek will pay Rudolph the sum of $13 million and each side will dismiss their claims against each other with prejudice.
The settlement further gives Camtek a perpetual right to sell its existing products, the Condor, Gannet and Eagle, as well as future products, without any claim of patent infringement from any of the patent families that Camtek had been sued on. Camtek granted similar rights to Rudolph on Camtek’s patent for Kerf inspection.
Camtek will record the $13 million payment to Rudolph as a one-time expense in its second quarter 2017 GAAP results. Rafi Amit, Camtek’s CEO, said the settlement removes the significant management distraction and ongoing expenses. “Despite our confidence that our technologies do not infringe Rudolph’s patents, after more than a decade of disputes with Rudolph, we have decided it is in our best interests to close this chapter and come to a final settlement.”
“This technology is no relevant”
The dispute over patent infringement began in 2005 and has included multiple claims. In 2016, a Federal Court of Appeals confirmed a lower court’s favorable judgement and awarded Rudolph damages in excess of $14.5 million. The present settlement resolves each of the remaining lawsuits currently pending. The dispute was centered mainly around a technology for high-speed semiconductor wafer inspection, used in Camtek’s Falcon machines. Rafi Amit said in the past that the technology in question is not relevant for any the current products of the company.
The settlement is not expected to drive Camtek into financial difficulties. During the first quarter of 2017 Camtek has reached record revenues of $30.8 million, up 26% YoY, and ten days ago Camtek announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Principle Capital, a Shanghai-based fund, to sell its PCB business for $35 million: $32 million will be paid in cash and an additional amount of up to $3 million conditioned upon the PCB business’ performance in 2018. The PCB organization is expected to remain intact, including the R&D operations which are planned to continue operating from Israel with its Israeli personnel.