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Orbotech Ltd. Message Board

  • blutribe27 blutribe27 Jun 1, 2011 7:09 AM Flag

    BIG NEWS!!Camtek And Orbotech Reach Agreement

    Camtek And Orbotech Reach Agreement To Dismiss Lawsuits Between ThemLast update: 6/1/2011 4:48:21 AM(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires (212-416-2400)June 01, 2011 04:48 ET (08:48 GMT)

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    • Bluetribe27,

      In your post, you called the dismissal of the lawsuit big news. I am not sure it is the case.

      The lawsuits (I seem to recall that there are two pending - one in Israel in 2004 and one in Jerusalem in 2005) were both against Camtek for infringement - in part related to Camtek's Falcon solution. Also, as far as I recall, 1) in the second lawsuit the court ruled early on - based on technical testimony and direct evidence - that there was indeed evidence of infringement around the Camtek product(s) and granted Orbotech provisional remedy, 2) the patent in question in the second lawsuit expired sometime in 2007, and 3) in one of the lawsuits, Orbotech actually agreed to *not* pursue an accelerated resolution (partly because, I seem to recall, it effectively would have barred Camtek from selling the solution holding the offending property.)

      Overall, as I see it:A) the lawsuits were outwards - from Orbotech towards Camtek, B) the underlying issue was already sorted, but the economic remedy was not resolved, and C) there was little direct economic upside for Orbotech in pushing the issue whilst there was mounting legal fees and expenses.

      In the same time frame as the abovereferenced lawsuit(s), Camtek had been sued by Rudolph Technologies for infringement, and in 2009 or so Camtek was found guilty to the tune of $8 million or so in damages and interests related to the Falcon product *and* and an injunction was recorded against further sales of Falcon in the United States, and, as of today, Camtek has, as far as I know, not paid Rudolph Technologies - although Camtek has posted a +$8 million bond, pending appeal proceedings (furthermore, I think there was an additional court order in 2011, increasing the amount to be paid by ~$650,000, and additional motions were filed by Rudolph Technologies seeking $1.5 million related to contempt and legal costs.)

      In my mind, in view of the Camtek balance sheet, Camtek can only resolve the issue with Rudolph by raising additional financing. It is therefore not a surprise to me that Camtek recently filed a shelf offering with the SEC (for up to $25 million.)

      So, I am guessing that the basis for the agreement between Camtek and Orbotech was that 1) Camtek needed to make the issue with Orbotech go away to make the offering clean, and 2) Orbotech realized that not making the issue go away would put the offering at risk and, therefore, cause Camtek to risk facing liquidity issues, resulting in the risk of Camtek entering into bankruptcy (resulting of cause in a potentially pyrrhic victory if (or when) Orbotech's lawsuit(s) had grinded through the system.)

      Generally, I am pleased that the lawsuit(s) is/are resolved. First, because it will stop the expenses related to the matter, and, second, because it could potentially have ended poorly. Naturally, after nearly 5 years of slow moving action, the shareholders of Orbotech may have liked to see the resolution bring in a significant amount of money to Orbotech, but given the stacking of the cards I don't see how this could have been resolved. Spinning positively, one can perhaps hope that the dismissal details include some sort of settlement (it is not clear to me if it does,) and hope that perhaps this will open the door for some sort of combination between Orbotech and Camtek (I see good, strong, synergies.)

      The above, of course, is just my opinion, and, for the sake of disclosure, I hasten to say that I hold ORBK in long positions.



      • 1 Reply to pajacobsen
      • Hello All,

        In my response to Bluetribe27, I forgot to mention the suit by Orbotech and Priortech, the de-facto controlling party of Camtek, against Orbotech, filed in 2005, and seeking damages of +$4 million related to the assertion that Orbotech’s claim against Orbotech was filed with the goal of disrupting Camtek’s secondary public offering (this matter, too, has been grinding forward, and the trial was scheduled to continue in 2011.)

        This suit is also, I assume, dismissed (and, further, I assume the third party mentioned in the press-release is Priortech.)

        Although this suit - to my mind - was always weak, then, naturally, to close out this matter is also to the advantage of Orbotech.

        Sorry for any inconvenience that the omission my have caused.



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