SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Contract chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries sued major rival and Apple supplier TSMC for patent infringement, trying to stop imports to the United States and Germany of products made with the allegedly infringed technology.
A Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) logo is seen at Hsinchu, Taiwan's headquarters on August 31, 2018. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
In lawsuits filed Monday in the United States and Germany, GlobalFoundries also sought unspecified "Significant" damages from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) ( 2330.TW ) based on the Taiwanese firm's illegal use of the technology in its "tens of billions of dollars."
Complainants claimed that chip manufacturing technologies used by TSMC infringed GlobalFoundries & # 39; 16 patents, and sought to prevent the importation of customers' products containing chips manufactured with infringing technologies, the Santa Clara, California-based company said.
It did not elaborate on products affected by the alleged infringement, but listed Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ), Qualcomm Inc ( QCOM.O ), Alphabet Inc & # 39; s ( GOOGL.O ) Google, Nvidia Corp ( NVDA.O ), Lenovo Group ( 0922.HK ), and Taiwan & # 39; MediaTek Inc ( 2454.TW ) among TSMC's customers affected by the complaints.
TSMC called the allegations "baseless".
"We are disappointed to see a casting participant resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the market with technology," the statement said.
It added that it would "fight hard, using all
options" to protect proprietary technologies.
Nvidia declined to comment. TSMC's other clients were not immediately available for comment.
In a move to highlight U.S. investment in the midst of an intensifying US trade war with China over Beijing's alleged unfair practices involving technology transfer and intellectual property, GlobalFoundries also said lawsuits are aimed at protecting US investment.
"While the semiconductor industry continues to shift to Asia, GlobalFoundries has reduced the trend by investing heavily in the US and European semiconductor industry," said GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Abu Dhabi's state investment vehicle.
"This act is critical … to safeguard the American and European production base."
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Stephen Coates and Muralikumar Anantharaman