All legal wrangling between TSMC and GlobalFoundries ended today. The chip foundries decided to play nicely and sign a "broad life-of-patents cross-license to each other’s worldwide existing semiconductor patents as well as those patents that will be filed during the next ten years," relays an official TSMC news post.
Unlike some legal tussles this one has been relatively short lived, which is a smart move for all involved. It was only back in late August when HEXUS reported that GlobalFoundries filed a lawsuit against TSMC for patent infringements in semiconductor manufacturing technology. Companies such as Apple, Google, Qualcomm, Cisco Systems, Nvidia, Broadcom, Xilinx, Lenovo and Motorola could have had their products in the firing line of sales bans in many countries across the world.
In the wake of the GlobalFoundries lawsuit news TSMC almost immediately responded saying that it would "vigorously defend its proprietary technology in response to GlobalFoundries complaints." Earlier this month TSMC responded in the courts, as its legal team lodged a counter-suit alleging GlobalFoundries had infringed upon multiple patents that it owned.
Statements today from both TSMC and GlobalFoundries appeared to communicate relief that the legal issues were behind them. TSMC General Counsel, Sylvia Fang, called the development positive for all customers and noted it should enable "the entire semiconductor industry to thrive and prosper." Similarly, GlobalFoundries CEO, Thomas Caulfield, said the companies would now be able to go forward unhindered by rival legal / patent concerns "to focus on innovation and to better serve our clients around the world," adding that the broad global patent cross licensing strategy was "a win for the entire semiconductor industry".