FORM » Topics » If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-Q filed May 7, 2009.
If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

 

If we chose not to protect our proprietary rights adequately or fail in our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights in South Korea.  As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

 

·              our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

 

·              patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;

 

·              our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

 

·              our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

 

·              others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

 

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Table of Contents

 

We have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that two or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation including an ongoing investigation against two competitors pending before the International Trade Commission.  In certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. Any litigation, whether or not resolved in our favor, and whether initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

 

These excerpts taken from the FORM 10-K filed Feb 27, 2009.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights in South Korea. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

    patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;

    our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

    our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

        We have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their

26


Table of Contents


products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our
markets and harm our operating results.



        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties
might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design
around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the
United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights in South Korea. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might
offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:





    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;


    patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;


    our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial
    advantage to us;



    our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United
    States or foreign countries; or



    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our
    products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property
    rights.



        We
have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely
that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their



26









HREF="#bg71401a_main_toc">Table of Contents






products
that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation
and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our
patents. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert
the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a
corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally,
certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost
to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our
competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.



If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our
markets and harm our operating results.



        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties
might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design
around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the
United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights in South Korea. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might
offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:





    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;


    patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;


    our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial
    advantage to us;



    our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United
    States or foreign countries; or



    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our
    products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property
    rights.



        We
have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely
that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their



26









HREF="#bg71401a_main_toc">Table of Contents






products
that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation
and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our
patents. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert
the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a
corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally,
certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost
to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our
competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.



If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our
markets and harm our operating results.



        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties
might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design
around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the
United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights in South Korea. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might
offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:





    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;


    patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;


    our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial
    advantage to us;



    our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United
    States or foreign countries; or



    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our
    products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property
    rights.



        We
have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely
that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their



26









HREF="#bg71401a_main_toc">Table of Contents






products
that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation
and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our
patents. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert
the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a
corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally,
certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost
to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our
competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.



These excerpts taken from the FORM 10-K filed Feb 27, 2008.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

    patents will be issued from our pending or future applications;

    our existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

    our patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our products or design around any of our patents or other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

        We have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. See the "Legal Proceedings" section of this Form 10-K for a description of the material patent-related proceedings in which we are involved.

        Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

22


If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete
successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.



        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects
of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In
addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result,
our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:





    our
    means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;


    patents
    will be issued from our pending or future applications;


    our
    existing or future patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;


    our
    patents or other intellectual property will not be invalidated, circumvented or successfully challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or


    others
    will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technologies, duplicate our products or design around any of our patents or
    other intellectual property, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.



        We
have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely
that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have
in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in
foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. See the "Legal Proceedings" section of this Form 10-K for a description of the material patent-related proceedings in which we
are involved.



        Any
litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, and whether it is initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and
divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or
enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other
countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would
increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result
in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing
products.



22









This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-K filed Nov 13, 2007.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

        If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

    patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

    our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

    any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

        We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled "Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly," and 399,210, entitled "Probe Card Assembly", both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled "Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same". On or about June 15, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling upholding the validity of all the claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457. The Company has appealed to the Korea Supreme Court the adverse decision on its Patent No. 278,342, 399,210 and 324,064; Phicom has appealed the June 15 ruling on Korea Patent No. 252,457 to the Korea Supreme Court. The outcome of any appeal of the rulings can not be definitively predicted, but will result in our incurring additional legal fees and expenses; which most likely will be material. See the "Legal Proceedings" section of this Form 10-K/A for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and against Micronics Japan Co., Ltd. and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom and other third parties are pursuing against certain of our patents.

        While we do not have a material monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse

21



ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-K filed Feb 26, 2007.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

·       our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

·       patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

·       our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

·       any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

·       others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled “Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly,” and 399,210, entitled “Probe Card Assembly”, both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled “Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same”. On or about June 15, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling upholding the validity of all the claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457. The Company has appealed to the Korea Supreme Court the adverse decision on its Patent No. 278,342, 399,210 and 324,064; Phicom has appealed the June 15 ruling on Korea Patent No. 252,457 to the Korea Supreme Court. The outcome of any appeal of the rulings can not be definitively predicted, but will result in our incurring additional legal fees and expenses; which most likely will be material. See the “Legal Proceedings” section of this Form 10-K for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and against Micronics Japan Co., Ltd. and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom and other third parties are pursuing against certain of our patents.

While we do not have a material monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country

21




might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-Q filed Nov 7, 2006.
If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

·                    our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

·                    patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

·                    our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

·                    any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

·                    others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled “Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly,” and 399,210, entitled “Probe Card Assembly”, both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled “Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same”. On or about June 15, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling upholding the validity of all the claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457. The Company has appealed to the Korea Supreme Court the adverse decision on its Patent No. 278,342, 399,210 and 324,064; Phicom has appealed the June 15 ruling on Korea Patent No. 252,457 to the Korea Supreme Court. The outcome of any appeal of the rulings can not be definitively predicted, but will result in our incurring additional legal fess and expenses; which most likely will be material. See the “Legal Proceedings” section of this Form 10-Q for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom and other third parties are pursuing against certain of our patents.

While we do not have a material monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-Q filed Aug 9, 2006.
If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

 

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

 

       our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

 

       patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

 

       our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

 

       any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

 

       others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

 

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled “Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly,” and 399,210, entitled “Probe Card Assembly”, both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled “Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same”. On or about June 15, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling upholding the validity of all the claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457. The Company has appealed to the Korea Supreme Court the adverse decision on its Patent No. 278,342, 399,210 and 324,064; Phicom has appealed the June 15 ruling on Korea Patent No. 252,457 to the Korea Supreme Court. The outcome of any appeal of the rulings can not be definitively predicted, but will result in our incurring additional legal fess and expenses; which most likely will be material. See the “Legal Proceedings” section of this Form 10-Q for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom is pursuing against certain of our patents.

 

While we do not have a material monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

 

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-Q filed May 11, 2006.
If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

 

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

 

our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

 

 

patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

 

 

our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

 

 

any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

 

 

others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

 

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled “Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly,” and 399,210, entitled “Probe Card Assembly”, both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled “Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same”.  On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court also issued a ruling declining to render a decision on a validity challenge against certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457, instead re-opening the case for further proceedings to be handled by a new panel of three Patent Court judges. The outcome of any Company appeal of the ruling(s) of the Korean Patent Court can not be definitively predicted, but will result in the Company incurring additional expenses. See the “Legal Proceedings” section of this Form 10-Q for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom is pursuing against certain of our patents.

 

While we do not have a material monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

 

This excerpt taken from the FORM 10-K filed Mar 1, 2006.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.

If we fail to protect our proprietary rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. As a result, our competitors might offer similar products and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:

·       our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate;

·       patents will be issued from our currently pending or future applications;

·       our existing patents or any new patents will be sufficient in scope or strength to provide any meaningful protection or commercial advantage to us;

·       any patent, trademark or other intellectual property right that we own will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the United States or foreign countries; or

·       others will not misappropriate our proprietary technologies or independently develop similar technology, duplicate our products or design around any patent or other intellectual property rights that we own, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights.

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that one or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and, in certain cases, our competitors have initiated invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. For example, in connection with our litigation with Phicom Corporation, one of our competitors, on or about October 27, 2005, the Korean Patent Court issued rulings holding invalid certain claims of two of our Korean patents. The two Korean patents affected by the rulings are Nos. 278,342, entitled “Method of Altering the Orientation of Probe Elements in a Probe Card Assembly,” and 399,210, entitled “Probe Card Assembly”, both of which had previously been upheld by the Korean Intellectual Property Office when it dismissed validity challenges in their entirety. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling holding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 324,064, entitled “Contact Tip Structures for Microelectronic Interconnection Elements and Methods of Making Same”. On or about February 9, 2006, the Korea Patent Court also issued a ruling declining to render a decision on a validity challenge against certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457, instead re-opening the case for further proceedings to be handled by a new panel of three Patent Court judges. The outcome of any Company appeal of the ruling(s) of the Korean Patent Court can not be definitively predicted, but will result in the

21




Company incurring additional expenses. See the “Legal Proceedings” section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of the infringement actions we have brought against Phicom and the invalidity proceedings that Phicom is pursuing against certain of our patents.

While we do not have a monetary damages exposure in these various invalidity proceedings, it is possible we will incur material expenses in our litigation with Phicom or in defending our intellectual property more broadly. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.

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