Patent Infringement Lawsuit against TSMC Seeks Ban on iPhone Import in the U.S, Germany

TSMC lobby

Apple has been named in yet another patent infringement case. This time around Global Foundries has filed a lawsuit against TSMC, the company that makes Apple’s A-Series chips. The company wants to half import of such processors and is seeking “significant damages from TSMC based on TSMC’s unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology in its tens of billions of dollars of sales.”

Global Foundries intends to stop the import of chipsets that are covered by its patents. Apparently TSMC doesn’t directly import the chips to the U.S, however, its customers do. It is also worth noting that the scope of the lawsuit is very vast. Companies like AMD, Nvidia, Apple, MediaTek, and many other companies are likely to be affected. In fact, Apple has been named in three out of 16 cases of infringement.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), the world’s leading specialty foundry based in the United States, today filed multiple lawsuits in the U.S. 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.

In filing the lawsuits, GF seeks orders that will prevent semiconductors produced with the infringing technology by Taiwan-based TSMC, the dominant semiconductor manufacturer, from being imported into the U.S. and Germany. These lawsuits require GF to name certain major customers of TSMC and downstream electronics companies, who, in most cases, are the actual importers of the products that incorporate the infringing TSMC technology. GF also seeks significant damages from TSMC based on TSMC’s unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology in its tens of billions of dollars of sales.”

TSMC and the others named as co-defendants are yet to issue an official reply. Apart from TSMC, the list also includes Apple, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Lenovo, Motorola, ASUS, BLU, Cisco, and OnePlus. At this point in time, we are unsure of how the import ban will affect iPhone production in the U.S and Germany.

[via GlobalNewsWire]