At the end of August, GlobalFoundries sued TSMC and 20 of its customers -- including three distributors-- for infringing 16 of its patents. The almost-inevitable countersuits landed Monday night. TSMC has charged GF with ongoing infringement of 25 of its patents.
The remedies TSMC is seeking include injunctions to force GF from continuing to manufacture any devices with infringing technology, injunctions against GF selling any such product that might be ready to ship, and “substantial monetary damages."
GlobalFoundries’ response to TSMC's countersuit was circulated via email two hours after TSMC circulated the news. “TSMC has long used its dominant market position to exert pressure on its smaller competitors, and the retaliatory litigation filed today is in keeping with that history. We have confidence in our position and the legal process, and we are not intimidated by these actions.” The response was signed by Sam Azar, senior vice president of corporate development, legal and government affairs for GF.
GF filed its lawsuits in the United States and in Germany. TSMC filed its countersuits in the US, in Germany, and in Singapore.
TSMC says GF is infringing patents that cover technologies used at major nodes from 40nm down to 12nm – “…at least.”
That two-word qualifier seems to be a reference to decisions GF recently made about its manufacturing plans. GF was going to bypass the 10nm node and hop straight to 7nm, but at the end of August it announced it was suspending development on 7nm technology. Should the company revive its plans to shrink down from 12nm, it is likely TSMC is prepared to add those products to its countersuit.
For the rest of this article, please see EPSNews sister publication, EETimes.