December 04, 2012 at 06:30 AM EST
Superconductor Technologies Inc. Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent 8,290,553

Patent covers RCE-CDR deposition equipment used to develop STI's production scale Conductus® 2G HTS wire

STI extends technology leadership to support global market position

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Superconductor Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:SCON) ("STI"), a world leader in the development and production of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and associated technologies, announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a critical patent on STI's Reactive Co-Evaporation Cyclic Deposition and Reaction (RCE-CDR) device and method for fabricating HTS thin films for 2G HTS wire. The newly issued patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,290,553, is entitled "Device and Method for Fabricating Thin Films by Reactive Evaporation" and expires in 2025.

"This patent issuance represents another step forward in the execution of our intellectual property (IP) strategy in conjunction with our Conductus® 2G HTS wire development," said Jeff Quiram, STI's President and CEO. "As part of our strategy to capture market potential, we are utilizing existing IP as the foundation for the commercial development of Conductus 2G HTS wire. We will continue to focus on strengthening our global IP portfolio to support our growing market position."

In addition, the European Patent Office recently indicated that it is prepared to grant a patent on STI's optimized composition of yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO), expanding the US Patent 7,867,950 issued January 11, 2011.

About STI's 2G HTS Wire RCE-CDR Manufacturing

Conductus® unique RCE-CDR HTS deposition offers several key advantages to successfully commercialize HTS wire for large, emerging markets. Importantly, HTS deposition using RCE-CDR requires fewer manufacturing steps than alternate deposition methods like MOD, MOCVD and PLD.  Fewer steps reduce total processing time and increase the likelihood of higher yield.  Conductus® highly controlled RCE-CDR deposition process grows crystalline structures from very low cost raw materials in their bulk, solid state.  Other YBCO growth approaches are not as controlled and usually require the use of costly chemical mixtures to deposit HTS materials. The competing processes require more buffer layers for proper crystal growth which increases complexity and runtimes and reduces yield. Conductus® growth process is simple, repeatable and commercially proven.  In addition to the lower direct cost of raw materials and the use of inexpensive substrate material, Conductus® manufacturing process will be designed for high throughput and a large HTS growth area.  Fewer process steps allows for less production equipment per km of wire, which in turn translates into lower cap-ex, less electricity use and a smaller production footprint.

About Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI)

Superconductor Technologies Inc., headquartered in Austin, TX, has been a world leader in HTS materials since 1987, developing more than 100 patents as well as proprietary trade secrets and manufacturing expertise. For more than a decade, STI has been providing innovative interference elimination and network enhancement solutions to the commercial wireless industry. The company is currently leveraging its key enabling technologies, including RF filtering, HTS materials and cryogenics to develop energy efficient, cost-effective and high performance second generation (2G) HTS wire for existing and emerging power applications, to develop applications for advanced RF wireless solutions and innovative adaptive filtering, and for government R&D.  Superconductor Technologies Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol "SCON." For more information about STI, please visit http://www.suptech.com.

The Superconductor Technologies Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3963

Safe Harbor Statement 

Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our limited cash and a history of losses; the limited number of potential customers; the limited number of suppliers for some of our components; there being no significant backlog from quarter to quarter; our market being characterized by rapidly advancing technology; overcoming technical challenges in attaining milestones to develop and manufacture commercial lengths of our HTS wire; customer acceptance of our HTS wire; fluctuations in product demand from quarter to quarter; the impact of competitive filter products, technologies and pricing; manufacturing capacity constraints and difficulties; and local, regional, and national and international economic conditions and events and the impact they may have on us and our customers, such as the current worldwide recession.

Forward-looking statements can be affected by many other factors, including, those described in the "Business" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of STI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and in STI's other public filings. These documents are available online at STI's website,www.suptech.com, or through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to senior management, and STI has not assumed any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

Contacts

Investor Relations, invest@suptech.com, Cathy Mattison or Becky Herrick of LHA, +1-415-433-3777, for Superconductor Technologies Inc.

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