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Williams Advanced Materials to be Granted US Patent for Sil-X(TM) DVD Production Alloy


BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan 19, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Williams Advanced Materials Inc. (WAM) announced today that it has been notified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that the USPTO has allowed WAM's patent application for WAM's silver-based optical media alloy, commonly known as Sil-X(TM). On December 15, 2005, WAM announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) had made a decision to grant WAM a similar patent for the same alloy. Once the two patents are formally issued, WAM will have patent protection for Sil-X(TM) in the United States and potentially more than 25 European nations. Patent applications for Sil-X(TM) are pending in other countries.

Sil-X(TM)was launched by WAM early in 2003 as an alternative to gold and other materials with expensive license fees. Sil-X(TM) has since achieved widespread acceptance by many of the world's DVD replicators as an efficient solution for disc metallization.

In making this announcement, WAM President Richard Sager commented, "The notification that the Sil-X(TM) patent is about to be granted in the United States is another very positive milestone for WAM. Several DVD replicators have been awaiting this development. Optical media materials remain a key and strategic segment of our overall business. Both the European and United States Sil-X(TM) patents focus on useful and operable materials and will reinforce their viability as a long-term answer to manufacturing efficient and robust DVD's."

Sil-X(TM) has been used by nearly all of the world's leading DVD manufacturers as a raw material critical to minimizing Cost per Disc (CPD) and enhancing performance characteristics of DVD's. WAM's leadership position as a raw material supplier, its extensive experience in precious metals, its collaborative research and development efforts with key customers and its commitment to customer support led to the discovery and refinement of this alloy.

Headquartered in Buffalo, WAM manufactures precious, non-precious and specialty metal products at facilities in New York, California, Wisconsin and Asia, and provides precision cleaning and reconditioning services for physical vapor deposition (PVD) customers at facilities in the U.S. and Ireland. Major markets for WAM's products include magnetic and optical data storage, the wireless, semiconductor, photonic and hybrid segments of the microelectronics markets.

The Company has embarked on an acquisition course over the past year, bolstering its position in PVD materials and services. Earlier this month, WAM announced it had purchased CERAC, incorporated of Milwaukee, a leading domestic provider of physical vapor deposition (PVD) and specialty inorganic materials. In October 2005, WAM acquired privately held Thin Film Technology, Inc. (TFT), of Buellton, California, a leading provider of precision optical coatings, photo lithography, thin film hybrid circuits, and specialized thin film coatings and services. In May 2005, WAM's Netherlands subsidiary acquired privately held OMC Scientific Holdings Limited (OMC) of Limerick, Ireland. OMC primarily provides precision cleaning and reconditioning services for PVD customers serving the magnetic and optical data storage, semiconductor and other technology-based growth markets.

WAM's parent company, Brush Engineered Materials Inc. (NYSE:BW) is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, supplies worldwide markets with beryllium products, alloy products, electronic products, precious metal products, and engineered material systems.

SOURCE: Williams Advanced Materials Inc.

Williams Advanced Materials
Scott Haluska, 716-837-1000
Brush Engineered Materials Inc.
Michael C. Hasychak, 216-383-6823

Copyright Business Wire 2006

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