TSMC accuses GlobalFoundries of infringing 25 patents for node processes

It follows the Taiwanese company being sued by GlobalFoundries last month.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd (TSMC) has filed multiple lawsuits against its competitor GlobalFoundries, saying the US company allegedly infringed upon 25 patents related to its node processes.

TSMC said on Monday that the lawsuits are seeking injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries from manufacturing and selling semiconductor products that allegedly infringe upon the patents in question. The Taiwanese semiconductor giant is also seeking "substantial monetary damages" but has not revealed a specific amount.

The 25 TSMC patents in the complaints relate to technologies such as FinFET designs, shallow trench isolation techniques, double patterning methods, advanced seal rings and gate structures, and innovative contact etch stop layer designs, TSMC said.

These technologies are used to create TSMC's 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes.

"TSMC's patents reflect decades and tens of billions of dollars of investments in innovation, resulting in TSMC's significant contribution to advancements in semiconductor manufacturing technology," said Sylvia Fang, TSMC vice president and general counsel.

The lawsuits have been filed across various jurisdictions, including the United States, Singapore, and Germany. 

The legal spat follows GlobalFoundries filing 25 legal complaints against TSMC last month, accusing the Taiwanese company of infringing 16 patents. TSMC's clients, which include Apple, Google, Broadcom, Motorola, Nvidia, Cisco, Lenovo, TCL, and Asus, were also named on GlobalFoundries' complaints as they imported TSMC's semiconductors that allegedly infringed the patents.

"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. This action is critical to halt Taiwan Semiconductor's unlawful use of our vital assets and to safeguard the American and European manufacturing base," GlobalFoundries said at the time.

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