July 16, 2004
Minebea Co., Ltd.
Minebea Files Suit for a Declaratory Judgment in Washington D.C. Seeking to Invalidate NIDEC Corporation's U.S. Patent No. 5,667,309
This is a notice that on July 15, 2004 (U.S. time), Minebea Co., Ltd. (hereinafter "Minebea") and its subsidiary NMB Technologies Corporation (hereinafter "NMB Tech"), a U.S. corporation in charge of North American sales of Minebea Group products, including fluid dynamic bearing motors for hard disc drives (hereinafter "HDD motors"), filed suit in the United States District Court in Washington D.C. against NIDEC Corporation (hereinafter "NIDEC") and Sankyo Seiki Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter "Sankyo") to seek a ruling and a declaratory judgment respectively, in connection with U.S. Patent No. 5,667,309 (hereinafter "309 Patent"), owned by Sankyo and recently subsequently assigned to Nidec, that the HDD motors, one of the Minebea Group's products do not only infringes, but also that said '309 Patent is invalid.
In the past, Minebea has received threats from Sankyo and NIDEC purporting that HDD motors, one of the Minebea Group's products, infringe the '309 Patent. With noted law firms, etc. in both Japan and the U.S., Minebea and NMB Tech had studied the '309 Patent thoroughly. Minebea and NMB Tech are firmly convinced that there are multiple pieces of prior art for the '309 Patent and no findings of any novelty, progressively or non-obvious subject matter whatsoever, and that said patent is invalid. Although Minebea has received unilateral requests from NIDEC for exorbitant and unjustifiable royalties, Minebea have concluded there is absolutely no need to pay massive royalties on an invalid patent. We have thus entered into a suit in an appropriate court to seek a ruling and/or a judgment to this effect.
With respect to the '309 Patent, moreover, we think that we, along with a few major customers of HDD motors who are hard disk drive manufacturers, will cooperate each other in order to stand together in the face of an unfounded allegation of infringement by NIDEC and Sankyo.
For inquiries, please contact:
Minebea Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications/Investor Relations Office, Corporate Planning Department
Product information, contact and other context are subject to change without prior notice.