Hsinchu, Taiwan R.O.C., Oct 1, 2019 - TSMC, the world’s leading global innovator in semiconductor manufacturing, filed multiple lawsuits on September 30, 2019 against GlobalFoundries in the United States, Germany and Singapore for its ongoing infringement of 25 TSMC patents by at least its 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes. In the complaints, TSMC demands injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries’ manufacture and sale of infringing semiconductor products. TSMC also seeks substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries for its sale of infringing semiconductor products and unlawful use of TSMC’s patented semiconductor technologies.
The 25 TSMC patents in the complaints relate to a diverse set of technologies, including FinFET designs, shallow trench isolation techniques, double patterning methods, advanced seal rings and gate structures, and innovative contact etch stop layer designs. These specific technologies cover the core features of mature and advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes. The patents at issue comprise just a small portion of TSMC’s extensive portfolio that numbers more than 37,000 granted patents worldwide. TSMC was ranked one of the top 10 companies for U.S. patent grants last year, for the third consecutive year.
TSMC pioneered the dedicated semiconductor foundry model, enabling an entire fabless IC design industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the United States. Furthermore, TSMC plays a critical role in facilitating the global semiconductor supply chain. For example, TSMC collaborates with dozens of U.S.-based equipment suppliers, intellectual property (IP) core providers and electronic design automation (EDA) vendors. TSMC procured about US$20 billion in equipment and services from U.S. suppliers over the past 5 years. TSMC also spurs the next generation of semiconductor technology by working closely with U.S.-based customers, suppliers and prestigious universities. TSMC subsidiaries operate a manufacturing site in Washington State along with offices in California and Texas with over a thousand employees.
“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, Vice President and General Counsel for TSMC. “TSMC’s lawsuits seek to protect our reputation, our significant investments, our nearly 500 customers, and consumers worldwide to ensure everyone benefits from the most advanced semiconductor technologies that enable a wide range of applications such as mobile, 5G, AI, IoT and high performance computing, which are critically important to the public interest.”