TSMC and GlobalFoundries bury the hatchet with a 10-year cross-license agreement
It looks like the tensions between TSMC and GlobalFoundries dissipated quicker than expected. Even though GloFo’s attitude was clearly belligerent after TSMC responded with a counter-lawsuit, the two companies quickly realized that the patent infringement claims coming from both sides would take too much time to process through legal methods, and could have potentially affected the supply of semiconductors that serves a wide client base, which includes big names ike Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm and many others. If you cannot beat them in court, why not join them, instead?
Well, not exactly a joint venture, but more like a bilateral agreement that would allow both companies to license each other’s existing patents plus any other patents that would be filed by any side in the next 10 years. The press release calls this agreement a “broad life-of-patents cross-license,” which in turn “guarantees TSMC and GF freedom to operate and ensures that their respective customers will continue to have access to each foundry's complete array of technologies and services."
Asked by Tom’s Hardware to comment on the agreement, analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy explained that he believes “this agreement is good for the industry as more companies sharing patents and IP accelerates innovation. As GlobalFoundries initiated the lawsuit and is in less diverse markets, I think it likely got the better deal."
Since GloFo is already behind in the miniaturization process, as it currently does not have any 7 nm nodes, maybe the whole strategy with the lawsuit was to legally gain access to such technology from TSMC. Too far-fetched? We will probably never know GloFo’s real intentions.