FRANKFURT, April 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikon filed lawsuits against Netherlands-based ASML, the world's third-largest chip equipment maker, and Germany's Carl Zeiss , saying its lithography technology was illegally used by the two.
"The basis of Nikon's claim is that ASML and Zeiss employ Nikon's patented technology in ASML's lithography systems, which are used globally to manufacture semiconductors, without Nikon's permission, thereby infringing Nikon's patents," the company said in a statement on Monday.
ASML and Carl Zeiss were not immediately available to comment.
Nikon, the world's eighth-largest chip equipment maker, said it had filed patent infringement cases against the two in the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde and Eric Auchard; Editing by Maria Sheahan)