TSMC counter-sues US chip rival GlobalFoundries for patent infringement

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is seen during an investors' conference in Taipei, Taiwan, April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

(Reuters) - Apple Inc supplier TSMC has counter-sued smaller contract chipmaking rival GlobalFoundries Inc in the United States, Germany and Singapore, saying the U.S. firm has infringed 25 of its patents.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said that in lawsuits filed on Monday it has asked for injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries’ manufacture and sale of chips that infringe the patents.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said in a statement on Tuesday it was seeking “substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries” but did not specify an amount.

The lawsuits come just over a month after GlobalFoundries sued TSMC for allegedly infringing 16 patents, seeking to stop imports into the United States and Germany of products made with technologies using those patents.

“TSMC has long used its dominant market position to exert pressure on its smaller competitors, and the retaliatory litigation filed today is in keeping with that history,” Santa Clara, California-based GlobalFoundries said in a statement.

“We have confidence in our position and the legal process, and we are not intimidated by these actions.”

GlobalFoundries said in August its lawsuits were aimed at protecting its investments in the United States. The company sought unspecified “significant” damages based on what it said was TSMC’s unlawful use of its technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales”.

GlobalFoundries had listed Apple, Qualcomm Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Nvidia Corp, Lenovo Group and Taiwan’ MediaTek Inc among TSMC customers affected by the complaints.

TSMC at the time called GlobalFoundries’ allegations “baseless”.

Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh, Douglas Busvine and Yimou Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Muralikumar Anantharaman