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TSMC and GlobalFoundries drop legal disputes and agree to share patents

Back in August, GlobalFoundries filed a lawsuit against TSMC claiming patent infringement on chips sold in some of the world’s most popular devices. At the time, GlobalFoundries claimed that 25 patents were being infringed on, but it didn’t take long for TSMC to fire back with a number of patent infringement complaints of its own Now just a few months later, both semiconductors have settled their issues, putting in place a huge cross-licensing agreement for current and future patents. 

In an announcement made this morning, TSMC and GlobalFoundries jointly revealed that the patent infringement lawsuits have been dropped on both sides. Instead of suing each other, TSMC and GlobalFoundries have instead agreed to a global cross-license agreement for their respective patents.

The agreement means that TSMC and GlobalFoundries will be free to use each other's currently owned semiconductor patents. The agreement also extends to patents filed by either company over the next ten years, turning a potentially long-running legal war into a long-term partnership.

As noted in the press release, this outcome ensures that TSMC and GlobalFoundries continue to have the freedom to operate and customers will have access to each foundry’s complete array of technologies and services.

Speaking about the move, GlobalFoundries CEO, Thomas Caulfield branded this as “a win for the entire semiconductor industry”, while TSMC’s Sylvia Fang labelled it as “a positive development that keeps our focus on advancing the needs of our customers for technologies that will continue to bring innovation to life, enabling the entire semiconductor industry to thrive and prosper”.

KitGuru Says: It is refreshing to see a patent infringement lawsuit resolved so quickly. More often than not, these cases drag out for years and serve as a distraction more than anything. Fortunately with this new agreement in place, both companies can go about their usual business with access to a larger pool of resources, rather than butting heads in a court room. 

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