GlobalFoundries and TSMC have announced this afternoon that they have signed a broad cross-licensing agreement, ending all of their ongoing legal disputes. Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will license each other's semiconductor-related patents granted so far, as well as any patents filed over the next 10 years.

Previously, GlobalFoundries has been accusing TSMC of patent infringement. At the time of the first lawsuit in August, TSMC said that the charges were baseless and that it would defend itself in court. In October, TSMC countersued its rival and, in turn, accused GlobalFoundries of infringing multiple patents. Now, less than a month after the countersuit, the two companies have agreed to sign a broad cross licensing agreement and dismiss all ongoing litigation.

According to the agreement, GlobalFoundries and TSMC cross-license to each other’s worldwide existing semiconductor patents, as well as any patents that are filed by the two companies in the next 10 years. Broadly speaking, GlobalFoundries and TSMC have thousands of semiconductor-related patents between them, some of which were originally granted to AMD and IBM.

Cross-licensing agreements are not uncommon in the high-tech world. Instead of fighting each other in expensive legal battles, companies with a broad portfolio of patents just sign cross-licensing agreements with peers, freeing them up to focus on innovating with their products rather than having to find ways to avoid infringing upon rivals' patents.

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Source: GlobalFoundries/TSMC Press Release

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  • outsideloop - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    Lisa Su to TSMC: How about you guys help our other fab make 7nm chiplets, so we can all put Intel out of business??
  • Foeketijn - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    That would also be my guess.
  • Eliadbu - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    it doesn't has to do with GloFo 7nm production, they pretty much got to risk production until they understood they are too small without major customers to justify transition to EUV high capacity production for economical reasons - EUV just cost a lot while manufacturing volume is down. GloFo was in bad situation it didn't make any profit and the owner just got enough of throwing piles of many on them without any returns so they got rid of many of their business and focused on some specialty nodes just to stay profitable, I don't see them even considering returning to the leading node manufacturing in the coming years it just cost to much for them and with their size it does not justify the investment. staying in the technology manufacturing frontier cost a lot that why from over dozen of manufactures in the leading node about two decades ago we are left with just 3 today, you either make it big and invest big cash for R&D and expanding or you fall behind.
  • eek2121 - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    Saw this coming the second GlobalFoundries filed suit.
  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Same... this is a TSMC win.
  • Smell This - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    You're a "very stable genius" ain't yahs?

    ""In regards to today's quashing of the disputes, we reached out to Patrick Moorhead, Founder, President & Principal Analyst at boutique tech analyst firm Moor Insights & Strategy, for some perspective:

    "I believe this agreement is good for the industry as more companies sharing patents and IP accelerates innovation. As GlobalFoundries initiated the lawsuit and is in less diverse markets, I think it likely got the better deal."

    In either case, burying the hatchet is a win for both companies, as the litigation would have drug on for years across several jurisdictions. ""[/i]

  • Smell This - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    sorry about that *tag* ---!$$@@!*&! no edit feature!
  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Only time will tell if GF got the better deal. They will need to come up with billions to start working on a new EUV node like 7nm or 5nm. If they do in fact do that then maybe this works out for them however I don't think they will so I truly believe TSMC got the better deal.

    Why are you calling me names? This is an adult site, please if you are not one at least act like one.
  • Smell This - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Play the victim card, much?

    You were called-out on your FUD __ you swung and missed.
  • bji - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Do you even know the meaning of the term 'FUD'? Doesn't seem like it ...

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