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TSMC responds to GlobalFoundries allegations

TSMC may counter-sue GlobalFoundries to protect its ever-expanding patent portfolio. (Source: Business Korea)
TSMC may counter-sue GlobalFoundries to protect its ever-expanding patent portfolio. (Source: Business Korea)
TSMC claims that the GlobalFoundries allegations are baseless and it will do everything in its power to protect its IPs and technologies. The Taiwanese foundries currently hold a portfolio of 37,000 patents and expressed disappointment towards the monopolistic insinuations.

Two days ago, GlobalFoundries initiated legal actions concerning TSMC’s infringement of 16 patents related to semiconductor manufacturing. In late 2018, GlobalFoundries announced that it would only focus on the 14 nm and 12 nm manufacturing nodes for the foreseeable future. Apparently, the U.S. company considered the jump to 7 nm too expensive, but this decision cost the company a few of its traditional clients, such as AMD, which had to strike deals with TSMC for upcoming 7 nm products.

Left with a smaller client portfolio and suspecting TSMC of monopolistic practices, GlobalFoundries now believes that 16 of its semiconductor patents including FinFET structures were illegitimately used by TSMC in all of its nodes ranging from 28 nm down to 7 nm. In addition to remedies amounting to billions of USD, GlobalFoundries is also looking to ban most of the products that use TSMC’s chips in the U.S. and Germany, including Apple’s iPhones, Nvidia’s GPUs and PCs assembled by Lenovo and Asus.

TSMC swiftly responded that it is currently reviewing all filed complaints and initial assessment points to baseless allegations. The Taiwanese company is ready to defend itself, and, if need be, counter-sue GlobalFoundries in order to protect its ever-growing patent portfolio that includes 37,000 patents worldwide. Here is TSMC’s official statement:

TSMC is in the process of reviewing the complaints filed by GlobalFoundries on August 26, but is confident that GlobalFoundries’ allegations are baseless. As a leading innovator, TSMC invests billions of dollars each year to independently develop its world-class, leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing technologies. As a result, TSMC has established one of the largest semiconductor portfolios with more than 37,000 patents worldwide and a top 10 ranking for US patent grants for 3 consecutive years since 2016. We are disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology. TSMC is proud of its technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and unwavering commitment to customers. We will fight vigorously, using any and all options, to protect our proprietary technologies.


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Bogdan Solca, 2019-08-28 (Update: 2019-08-28)