GlobalFoundries sues TSMC for patent infringement, seeks ban on its products

Globalfoundries, though it has been setting up manufacturing facilities of its own in China, said in its trade commission complaint that TSMC recently …

Globalfoundries, though it has been setting up manufacturing facilities of its own in China, said in its trade commission complaint that TSMC recently completed construction on an advanced chip plant in that country that rides “the shift in global supply chains out of the U.S. and Europe into Greater China”.

The lawsuits include a suit at the US International Trade Commission requesting a ban on imports of infringing TSMC products in the US.

GlobalFoundries is suing a Taiwan semiconductor manufacturer for patent infringement- a move that could impact smartphone sales in the United States. Samsung and Globalfoundries had a chipmaking technology partnership.

GlobalFoundries has not been having a good run of late: After predicting it would be producing 7nm parts by 2018, the company switched chief executives before putting its 7nm plans on indefinite hold – forcing former owner AMD to switch to TSMC for its 7nm CPU and GPU production.

Globalfoundries (GF) has filed lawsuits in Germany and the USA against TSMC and 19 companies that rely on ICs being manufactured there, among which tech giants such as Apple, Google, Qualcomm and Samsung. TSMC does most of its manufacturing in Taiwan, though it has some plants in mainland China.

In a statement, GF highlighted how the suits are created to support investments in the U.S. and Europe. Given these processes are used to make more than half of TSMC’s chips, the firm is seeking “significant damages” which reports claim could reach billions of dollars. “TSMC has always respected intellectual property and we have developed all our technologies by ourselves”, she said. If the courts do issue the injunction requested by GlobalFoundries, products like the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, and Android devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets could be banned from entering the U.S. As of past year, TSMC said that it is “manufacturing 10,436 different products using 261 distinct technologies for 481 different customers”. ‘For years, while we have been devoting billions of dollars to domestic research and development, TSMC has been unlawfully reaping the benefits of our investments.

In a move to focus on its funding in America amid an intensifying USA trade war with China over Beijing’s alleged unfair practices involving technology transfers and intellectual property, GlobalFoundries additionally mentioned the lawsuits are aimed at defending its US investment.

TSMC shares gained 0.60 percent to close at NT$250.00 (US$7.96) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), with 50.21 million shares changing hands on the local main board, where the benchmark weighted index ended up 0.32 percent at 10,387.23 points. The ITC in Washington, which protects USA markets from unfair trade practices, also has a reputation for speed, with investigations completed in 15 to 18 months. That means there will be an adequate supply of smartphones and other consumer electronics, it said in the court filings.

The Fab 8 plant in Malta, where GlobalFoundries has invested an estimated $12 billion since ground was broken in the Luther Forest Technology Campus a decade ago, employs about 3,000 people, in a facility GlobalFoundries says is making state-of-the-art chips.

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GlobalFoundries claims rival stole chip technology

Both GlobalFoundries and TSMC manufacture chips for third parties. GF also seeks significant damages from TSMC for the alleged unlawful use of …

If the courts do issue the injunction requested by GlobalFoundries, products like the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, and Android devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets could be banned from entering the U.S. As of previous year, TSMC said that it is “manufacturing 10,436 different products using 261 distinct technologies for 481 different customers”. Samsung and Globalfoundries had a chipmaking technology partnership.

Both GlobalFoundries and TSMC manufacture chips for third parties. GF also seeks significant damages from TSMC for the alleged unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology.

“While semiconductor manufacturing has continued to shift to Asia, GlobalFoundries has bucked the trend by investing heavily in the American and European semiconductor industries”, GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s state investment vehicle, said. These lawsuits are aimed at protecting those investments and the USA and European-based innovation that powers them, ‘ claims Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president for engineering and technology at GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries has filed patent lawsuits which might block imports into the US and Germany of all of Apple’s iPhones and iPads but also products from about a dozen brands, including Asus, Mediatek and Lenovo, reports said. One of the requirements is that the import of some Apple products into those countries will be stopped because they contain chips from TSMC that infringed patent rights from GlobalFoundries. “These lawsuits are aimed at protecting these investments and the USA and European-based innovation that powers them”.

TSMC spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun told the Bloomberg news organization that the company hasn’t been served with court papers and it isn’t familiar with the details of the suit.

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Soon after the local equity market opened, TSMC shares attracted bargain hunting, as investors took cues from 0.95 percent increase in the company’s American depositary receipts (ADRs) on the USA markets overnight, and the stock remained strong until the end of the session, dealers said.

Last August, GlobalFoundries announced it was cutting research into 7-nanometer computer chips, causing the elimination of 455 jobs at its Fab 8 plant in Malta and its research team at SUNY-Polytech in Albany. They involve the most advanced technique, called 7 nanometer, that TSMC is now using. The stock has a market cap of $218.49 billion, a PE ratio of 18.46, a P/E/G ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 1.02.

The commission in Washington, which protects United States markets from unfair trade practices, also has a reputation for speed, with investigations completed in 15 to 18 months.

It said this means there would still be an adequate supply of consumer electronics.

GlobalFoundries has invested billions in semiconductor chip-making in the USA, including at the former IBM plant in Essex Junction.

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TSMC responds to Globalfoundries’ lawsuits

TSMC has responded to the lawsuits filed Monday by Globalfoundries Inc. alleging patent infringement stating that while it is in the process of …

TSMC has more than 37,000 patents granted worldwide and has been in the top ten ranking for US patents for the last three years, the company stated. TSMC is the world’s leading foundry by revenue with the capacity to provide 12 million 12-inch wafers in 2019 in processes ranging from 0.5-micron down to 7nm. Globalfoundries has claimed that TSMC’s manufacturing processes infringe on 16 of its patents (see GloFo takes TSMC to court over process patents ).

“We are disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology,” TMSC said in a statement issued August 27.

In two filings with the US International Trade Commission, Globalfoundries is seeking a prohibition on the import of goods containing the alleged offending semiconductors. besides TSMC and subsidiaries the following companies and subsidiaries were some of those named as respondents: Broadcom, Nvidia, Apple, Arista Networks, AsusTek, Cisco Systems, Lenovo Group, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Avnet, Digi-Key Mouser Electronics, Google, Motorola Mobility.

Related links and articles:

www.tsmc.com

www.globalfoundries.com

News articles:

GloFo takes TSMC to court over process patents

GloFo rethinks its future, drops 7nm FinFET

Report: GlobalFoundries accuses TSMC of unfair selling

Report: Globalfoundries asks China to probe TSMC

TSMC responds to antitrust investigation reports

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Bitmain Chip Supplier Slapped With Patent Infringement Lawsuits

TSMC, Bitmain’s major chip supplier and the world’s largest privately held semiconductor foundry in terms of sales, has been slapped with multiple …
Market NewsAugust 29, 2019 by Kelly Cromley

TSMC, Bitmain’s major chip supplier and the world’s largest privately held semiconductor foundry in terms of sales, has been slapped with multiple lawsuits by its arch rival GlobalFoundries (GF).

As per the official statement made by GF, which is the second largest semiconductor foundry in terms of sales, several patent infringement cases have been filed against TSMC in the US and Germany. Specifically, GF has alleged that the Taiwan based TSMC has violated 16 of the former’s patents.

The California-based GF, in its lawsuit, has sought a blanket ban on import of semiconductors manufactured using infringing technology into the US and Germany. Furthermore, GF seems compensation from TSMC for the unlawful use of the former’s proprietary technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales.”

Two days ago, multiple lawsuits were filed with the US International Trade Commission, the US Federal District Courts in Delaware and Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany.

TSMC has responded saying that it is presently reviewing the complaints. The company asserted that GF’s allegations are unfounded. TSMC further stated that it is “disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology.”

Sina, a Chinese financial news provider, has reported that GF’s accusations included violation of technology that consists of 7 nanometer (nm), 10nm, 16nm and 28nm semiconductor processes.

Quoting an article by China-based tech blog DeepTech Deep Technology, Sina has reported that in addition to TSMC, Apple and Nvidia, six chip design manufacturers and ten consumer product suppliers such as ASUS, Google and Lenovo have also been named as defendants.

Last month, Bitmain revealed that it has placed an urgent 30,000 7nm wafer order to TSMC.

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Bitmain Chip Supplier Faces Infringement Lawsuits From Competitor

TSMC, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry and chip supplier for Bitmain, is facing multiple lawsuits from its competitor …

TSMC, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry and chip supplier for Bitmain, is facing multiple lawsuits from its competitor GlobalFoundries (GF).

Alleged patent infringement

GF, the second biggest semiconductor foundry by sales after TSMC, filed several lawsuits in the United States and Germany, accusing Taiwanese TSMC of infringing on 16 GF patents, according to an official GF statement on Aug. 26.

In the lawsuits, the California-based company seeks orders to ban TSMC from importing semiconductors produced with its technology to the United States and Germany, with GF claiming that importation of infringing Taiwanese semiconductors is unlawful.

Additionally, GF is seeking damages from TSMC based on TSMC’s unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales,” as announced by GF.

Multiple lawsuits were filed on Aug. 26 in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Federal District Courts in Delaware and Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany.

TSMC will defend its tech

TSMC published an official statement regarding the issue on Aug. 27, claiming that the company is in the process of reviewing the complaints. However, TSMC stressed that they are confident that GF’s allegations are baseless. TSMC added that the firm is “disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology.”

Apple, Google and Nvidia also on the list of defendants

According to a report by Chinese finance news outlet Sina, GF’s allegations included infringement of technology that covers 7 nanometer (nm), 10nm, 16nm and 28nm semiconductor processes. Citing a report by China-based tech blog DeepTech Deep Technology, Sina reports that apart from TSMC, Apple and Nvidia, as well as six chip design manufacturers and ten consumer product suppliers such as Google, ASUS and Lenovo have joined the list of defendants.

In July, Bitmain reportedly confirmed its urgent order for wafers from TSMC, claiming that it will receive 30,000 7nm wafers from the company.

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