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Cognex Sues Electro Scientific Industries, Inc.

Cognex Corporation

NATICK, Mass. March 19, 2001 (Business Wire) - Cognex Corporation, the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, announced today that it has served a complaint against Electroc Scientific Indutries (ESI), a Portland, Oregon-based producer of equipment used in electronics manufacturing.  The complaint was filed in the United States District Court in Massachusetts.

Cognex is claiming that ESI's CorrectPlace™ system for placing surface mount devices infringes one or more claims of Cognex's U.S. patent No. 5,371,690 entitled "Method and Apparatus for Inspection of Surface Mounted Devices."  The patent was granted to Cognex in December, 1994.  Cognex is seeking action by the court to stop ESI from making and selling CorrectPlace™ or any other product which is found to infringe Cognex's patent.  Cognex is also seeking unspecified damages to compensate for ESI's patent infringements.

"Cognes's industry-leading SMD technology is the result of research and development carried out internally by our staff of engineers for more than 10 years," said Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Cognex's President, CEO and Chairman.  "We believe that ESI's product directly infringestechnology that was invented by Cognex, and which is used in the products Cognex sells to SMD equipment makers around the world."

 Dr. Shillman continued, "Cognex will do whatever is necessary to protect the company's R&D investment, and to ensure that our customers maintain the technical advantage they gain by purchasing Cognex products."

Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can "see."  Cognex is the world's leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped to date more than 150,000 machine vision systems, representing $1 billion in cumulative revenue sincethe company's founding in 1981.  Cognex's Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems which are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality.  Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems, also known as web inspection systems, which are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper and plastics.  In addition to its corporate headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, Cognex also has regional offices located throughout North America, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.  Visit Cognex online at www.cognex.com

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