TSMC prepares to defent itself against GlobalFoundries patent suit

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 28 2019 @ 08:32 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Yesterday, GlobalFoundries cause quite a ruckus by taking legal action against TSMC and its clients. EE Times got in touch with some analysts and heard this lawsuit is seen as a potential drag on the semiconductor industry.

VLSI Research CEO Dan Hutcheson told the site that he sees a "greater than 50%" chance of winning for GlobalFoundries, but he also points out that there's a high likelihood that TSMC has IP that's being infringed on. Hutcheson predicts this will be a long legal battle that may hurt growth and profitability in the semiconductor industry.

The Linley Group senior analyst Mike Demler took a look at GlobalFoundries' claims and notes that the patents that are the subject of this case appear to be "very common and generic":
GF’s infringement claims appear to be very common and generic, like “semiconductor device with transistor local interconnects,” according to Mike Demler. a senior analyst with The Linley Group.

“It’s almost impossible to support a patent for something as basic as building a transistor, since everybody pretty much does it the same way,” Demler says. “They might mix the recipe a bit, but if it’s obvious to ‘one skilled in the art’, it’s hard to claim uniqueness. It’s just another waste of money that will mostly go to the lawyers,” he said.
Taiwanese foundry TSMC issued a formal response and called the allegations of GlobalFoundries baseless:
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.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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