The world's eighth-largest chip equipment maker Nikon has filed a lawsuit against Netherlands-based ASML and Germany's Carl Zeiss, accusing them of illegally using Nikon's lithography technology.

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, reported NewsOn6. "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 Japanese company said in a statement on Monday, as per Reuters.

According to NewsOn6, the unauthorised use of Nikon's patented technology by ASML and Zeiss continued, which lead to Nikon filing the lawsuit.

The Japanese company has initiated a total of 11 patent infringement cases against ASML at the District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands and is also filing patent infringement cases against ASML in Tokyo District Court in Japan. Against Carl Zeiss, it has filed the case in Mannheim, Germany where the company manufactures optical components used in ASML's immersion lithography systems, reported the publication.

"Through substantial and sustained investment in R&D, Nikon has developed advanced lithography technologies, including immersion lithography technology, that has revolutionized the semiconductor industry," said Kazuo Ushida, President and Representative Director of Nikon. "Semiconductors are core components of the electronic devices on which consumers, companies and the global economy rely. We are proud of the role that our technology has played in advancing the global information society," he added.

"We firmly believe that ASML's unauthorized use of Nikon patents on our most advanced technologies, including immersion lithography technology, has enabled ASML to expand its lithography business. Respect for intellectual property is fundamental to fair and healthy competition, and is essential to promoting innovations that provide society with the most advanced products and services. That is why we have decided to commence this litigation," said Kazuo, as reported.