Taipei-Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and U.S.-based rival GlobalFoundries Inc. (GF) have ended their ongoing patent infringement dispute after they agreed on a mutual licensing deal over the next decade.
The two companies "are dismissing all litigation between them as well as those that involve any of their customers," TSMC and GF said in a joint statement released Tuesday.
"The companies have agreed to 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 as both companies continue to invest significantly in semiconductor research and development," the statement said.
"This resolution guarantees TSMC and GF freedom to operate and ensures that their respective customers will continue to have access to each foundry's complete array of technologies and services."
Hsinchu-based TSMC countersued GF on Sept. 30 for stealing technologies involving the 40-nanometer, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm and 12nm processes, in the wake of the latter's legal action on Aug. 26 in the United States in which it accused TSMC of infringing 16 of its patents.
GF CEO Thomas Caulfield said the two sides were pleased by the settlement, which he described as recognition of "the strength of our respective intellectual property."
"Today's announcement enables both of our companies to focus on innovation and to better serve our clients around the world," Caulfield said.
"This agreement between GF and TSMC secures GF's ability to grow and is a win for the entire semiconductor industry, which is at the core of today's global economy."
In the statement, TSMC general counsel Sylvia Fang (???) said the semiconductor industry has been highly competitive, driving players to pursue innovation, and TSMC has invested tens of billions of dollars in innovation to reach its leading position.
"The resolution is 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," she said.
Investors were encouraged by the settlement. Share of TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker and one of Apple's main suppliers, rose by NT$2.5 (US$0.082) to NT$297 in early trading on Taiwan's stock market Tuesday morning.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel