June 23, 2008 / 9:47 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Applied Materials says did not infringe patent

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (Reuters) - Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) said on Monday its SunFab thin film solar technology does not infringe on a European patent held by Switzerland’s University of Neuchatel.

The announcement by the maker of equipment for both the semiconductor and solar power industries came after Swiss technology group Oerlikon OERL.VX said earlier this month its intellectual property was being infringed by Germany’s Sunfilm AG, an Applied Materials customer.

Oerlikon has an exclusive license to technology patented by the University of Neuchatel and it filed a complaint for patent infringement on June 10 in a German court.

In May, Sunfilm said its Applied Materials SunFab line will begin production of silicon thin film solar modules in July.

In a statement, Applied Materials said its technology is different from the claims of the patent held by the University of Neuchatel.

The company also said the patent is the subject of four separate opposition proceedings that challenge its validity.

An Oerlikon spokesman was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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