TSMC States Its 37,000 Patents Sufficient To Void GlobalFoundries’ Claims

Ramish Zafar

Last month, GlobalFoundries sued TSMC and 19 other companies for alleged patent infringement. The fab, which has scrapped its 7nm plans, claims that TSMC uses technology developed by GlobalFoudries for its 7nm, 10nm, 12nm, 16nm and 28nm process nodes. These encompass no less than 16 patents, and GF has chosen to file the suits in five courts. Three of these are in the United States, and one court is of the International Trade Commission.

The ITC, for its part, ordered an investigation into GlobalFoundries' claims pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act 1930, requiring that companies named in the complaint by GF respond to the complaint and to the order of investigation in less than 20 days. Now, in light of the ITC's investigation order, TSMC's once gain reiterating its earlier statement on the matter. Take a look below for more details.

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TSMC Denies GlobalFoundries' Patent Infringement Claims Again After ITC Orders Investigation

GlobalFoundries lawsuits are based primarily around TSMC, since it's the Taiwanese fab's semiconductor products that power a lot of gadgets and hardware. In fact, it's only due to the fact that GF's claims are (allegedly) covered under the Tariff Act 1930 that companies such as Apple, OnePlus and Nvidia have also found themselves in the crosshairs of the company's battle with TSMC.

In its last statement, TSMC said that it was ''disappointed' by a fab that it considers as a peer. The company also stated that it will use all legal means to fight to protect its ''proprietary technologies''. Now, the Taiwanese fab is out with another statement.

As reported by CNbeta, TSMC is stating that all technologies that GF alleges infringement up, the Taiwanese fab has developed itself. According to TSMC, it's got the world's largest semiconductor patent IP portfolio, with more than 37,000 patents under its belt. Additionally, the fab also highlights the fact that it's been the US' top 10 patent inventor since 2016 to boost its claims of having developed technology unrelated to GlobalFoundries' IP.

TSMC fabrication

The feud between TSMC and GlobalFoundries has massive repercussions for products imported inside the United States if the latter's claim is held by the ITC and other courts. If GF's claims are found valid, then the ITC is well within its right to order the companies it believes violate Section 337 to cease and desist their operations.

However, when we take a look at sub-section (d) of 19 U.S.C. §1337(amended), things get interesting. While the ITC can stop an item deemed in violation of US patents, it can also change its decision and decide that the articles are not excluded from entry in the US given that the "exclusion negatively affects the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, and United States consumers."

So in essence, in the scenario that the ITC rules in GF's favor, the commission has the authority to reverse exclusion of items from entry into the US if deemed relevant to sub-section (d). Given the nature of these things, expect developments to take place slowly.

Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

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