Semiconductor Equipment

TSMC and Globalfoundries settle disputes

08 November 2019

Pure play foundries Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) and Globalfoundries (GF) have settled all litigation between them as well as litigation involving their customers.

The companies also reached a broad life-of-patents cross-license to each other’s worldwide existing semiconductor patents as well as those patents that will be filed in the next 10 years. The goal of the agreement is for both companies to invest in semiconductor research and development without the threat or potential for litigation.

GF initially sued TSMC in August for infringing upon 16 patents it held and was seeking to prevent customers of TSMC from using its technology that infringes on its patents. TSMC countersued in early October, claiming GF had infringed on 25 of its own patents involving 40 nm, 28 nm, 14 nm and 12 nm node processes.

A spokesperson for TSMC said while the cross-patent agreement clears the companies of litigation, the companies do not have plans to collaborate with GF in any technology development project.

“The cross license basically grants each of us freedom to develop our own technologies without concerns about touching each other’s intellectual property,” the spokesperson said.

Additionally, the resolution guarantees that TSMC and GF customers can continue to use both foundries’ array of technologies and services.

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