TSMC and GlobalFoundries settle patent disputes with cross-licensing agreement


TSMC and GlobalFoundries settle patent disputes with cross-licensing agreement

TSMC and GlobalFoundries have kissed and made up

SEMICONDUCTOR GIANT TSMC and GlobalFoundries have kissed and made up, signing a broad cross-licensing agreement that ends all of their legal disputes.

Advertisement

To jog your memory, GlobalFoundries filed multiple lawsuits against TSMC back in August, alleging the firm infringes its intellectual property in its 7nm, 10nm, 12nm, 16nm, 28nm manufacturing processes. Given these processes are used to make more than half of TSMC’s chips, the firm said it was seeking “significant damages”.

The lawsuits, filed in the US and Germany, also named several of TSMC’s clients, including Apple, Asus, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Lenovo, and Motorola. 

At the time, TSMC told INQ that GlobalFoundries complaints were “baseless” and promised to fight back against the lawsuits “vigorously”. 

Advertisement

Making good on its promise, the company earlier this month filed multiple lawsuits against Globalfoundries in the US, Germany and Singapore, accusing the firm of infringing 25 patents related to its 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes. TSMC at the time said it was seeking “substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries”.

This week, however, TSMC and GlobalFoundries agreed to a cross-licensing agreement that will allow them to use each other’s existing semiconductor patents, as well as any semiconductor patents that either company files during the next 10 years. 

Sylvia Fang, general counsel for TSMC, lauded the move as a “positive development that keeps our focus on advancing the needs of our customers for technologies that will continue to bring innovation to life, enabling the entire semiconductor industry to thrive and prosper.”

Advertisement

Thomas Caulfield, GlobalFoundries CEO, added: “We are pleased to have quickly reached this settlement that acknowledges the strength of our respective intellectual property.

“Today’s announcement enables both of our companies to focus on innovation and to better serve our clients around the world. This agreement between GF and TSMC secures GF’s ability to grow and is a win for the entire semiconductor industry which is at the core of today’s global economy.” µ

Further reading

Advertisement