Clicky

GlobalFoundries Lawsuits Could Impact Apple, Cisco, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and others
by Shelly Kramer | August 26, 2019

The News:  GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), the world’s leading specialty foundry based in the United States, today filed multiple lawsuits in the US and Germany alleging that semiconductor manufacturing technologies used by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC) infringe 16 GF patents. The lawsuits were filed today in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Federal District Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Western District of Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany. Read the full release from GlobalFoundries at Globe Newswire.

GlobalFoundries Lawsuits v. TSMC Could Impact Apple, Cisco, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and others

Analyst take: TSMC is a leading semiconductor manufacturer and the semiconductors produced by the company play a big role in a variety of products of major brands who rely on this technology in a big way. The GlobalFoundries’ lawsuits allege patent infringement by TSMC on 16 GlobalFoundries’ patents. While the filing of the patent infringement lawsuits themselves is newsworthy, of more immediate interest is GlobalFoundries’ quest for court orders preventing the import of any products relying on the technology in dispute into the US or Germany.

This is where it gets sticky. TMSC is a Taiwan-based company and not subject to US jurisdiction. However, the lawsuits include a number of TMSC’s customers who import chips into the US which are built using the technology in dispute. The GlobalFoundries’ lawsuits alleging infringement includes some of the world’s largest technology Taicompanies, including Apple, ASUS, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, NVIDIA, Lenovo, and Motorola, to name just a few.

Should the courts find in favor of GlobalFoundries’ quest for injunctions, this could conceivably preclude the import of products including but not limited to smartphones running Qualcomm’s SoCs, routers and devices made by ASUS and Lenovo containing TMSC chips, Apple iPhones, and NVIDIA’s GeForce-based graphics cards.

Companies Impacted by GlobalFoundries’ Lawsuits

The list of companies potentially impacted by these lawsuits include:

Fabless Chip Designers
Apple, Broadcom, Mediatek, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Xilinx

Consumer Product Manufacturers
Arista, ASUS, BLU, Cisco, Google, HiSense, Lenovo, Motorola, TCI, OnePlus

Electronic Component Distributors
Avnet/EBV, Digi-key, Mouser

GlobalFoundries asserts that the company has invested heavily in both American and European semiconductor industries and that these lawsuits are aimed at protecting those investments and to “safeguard the American manufacturing base.” A not-surprising tactic in today’s nationalistic political climate. One thing is for certain, GlobalFoundries has certainly managed to garner the immediate attention of legal teams at major tech companies around the world. Now, we, and a whole lot of technology giants, wait to see what happens next.

Other Analysis from Futurum Research:

Qualcomm Wins Partial Stay in FTC Ruling, Overturn Likely to Follow

Cisco Posts Solid 4th Quarter, But Waives Caution Flag. Here’s Why Investors Shouldn’t Worry

Huawei Ascend AI Processors Show its Ambition Despite Tensions

 

Image credit: Pixabay

About the Author

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”