A logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is seen at its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Contract chipmaker GlobalFoundries has sued larger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) for patent infringement, seeking to stop the defendant’s customers including Apple from importing affected products to the United States and Germany.
In lawsuits filed on Monday in the United States and Germany, GlobalFoundries also sought unspecified “significant” damages from TSMC (2330.TW) based on the Taiwanese firm’s unlawful use of its technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales.”
The complaints alleged that chip manufacturing technologies used by TSMC infringed GlobalFoundries’ 16 patents, and sought to prevent imports of products containing chips produced with the infringing technologies, the Santa Clara, California-based firm said in a statement.
It did not elaborate on products affected by the infringement, but listed Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Lenovo Group (0922.HK) and Taiwan’ MediaTek Inc (2454.TW) among TSMC’s customers affected by the complaints.
TSMC was not immediately available for comment. Nvidia declined to comment. Its other clients also were not immediately available for comment.
In a move to highlight its investment in the United States amid an intensifying U.S. trade war with China over Beijing’s unfair practices involving technology transfers and intellectual property, GlobalFoundries also said the lawsuits are aimed at protecting its U.S. investment.
“While semiconductor manufacturing has continued to shift to Asia, GlobalFoundries has bucked the trend by investing heavily in the American and European semiconductor industries,”
GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s state investment vehicle, said.
“This action is critical … to safeguard the American and European manufacturing base.”
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Edited by Miyoung Kim and Stephen Coates