Giant Taiwan Apple supplier TSMC faces infringement claims

Agence France-Presse
Giant Taiwan Apple supplier TSMC faces infringement claims
GlobalFoundries says it filed multiple lawsuits in the United States and Germany, alleging infringement of 16 of its patents by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwanese chipmaker giant TSMC, a key Apple supplier, vowed on Tuesday, August 27, to “fight vigorously” against patent infringement claims filed by US rival GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries said it filed multiple lawsuits in the United States and Germany on Monday, alleging infringement of 16 of its patents.

The company said it was seeking “significant damages” from TSMC as well as injunctions to prevent the import of products made with the allegedly infringed technologies to both countries.

“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,” Gregg Bartlett, Global Foundries senior vice president of engineering and technology, said in a statement. 

“This action is critical to halt (TSMC’s) unlawful use of our vital assets and to safeguard the American and European manufacturing base.”

GlobalFoundries said it has invested more than $15 billion in the last decade in the US and more than $6 billion in Europe, bucking a trend of the shift to Asia in semiconductor manufacturing. 

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has rejected the allegations as “baseless” and vowed to use “any and all options to protect our proprietary technologies”. 

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

Founded by one of Taiwan’s most revered business leaders, Morris Chang – who retired last year – TSMC is the world’s leading contract microchip maker, supplying Apple’s iPhones and other leading tech firms. 

It said it has invested heavily and built up one of the largest semiconductor portfolios, with more than 37,000 patents worldwide.

In 2017, the company signed a deal to build a $3 billion plant in the Chinese city of Nanjing, Taiwan’s largest single investment in China. –

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