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GLOBALFOUNDRIES Files Patent Infringement Lawsuits

hist78

Member
The story continues:

Legal action could halt MacBook and Nvidia RTX sales in the US – while AMD’s GPUs are left alone

1. I think with 37,000 patents, TSMC will hit back on GF very hard in order to set an example and prevent any similar lawsuits in the future.

2. There is a possibility it's just a GF's tactic copied from the 1999 Digital vs Intel case. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company (the owner of GF) wants to exit from semiconductor industry and they feel TSMC is the only one who may make a decent offer. So Mubadala Investment wants to force TSMC to buy GF. If the price is right and there are still enough and useful patents under GF's control, TSMC may consider it.

Intel to Buy Chip-Making Operations From Digital
 

ChrisGar

Member
1. I think with 37,000 patents, TSMC will hit back on GF very hard in order to set an example and prevent any similar lawsuits in the future.\
2. There is a possibility it's just a GF's tactic copied from the 1999 Digital vs Intel case. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company (the owner of GF) wants to exit from semiconductor industry and they feel TSMC is the only one who may make a decent offer. So Mubadala Investment wants to force TSMC to buy GF. If the price is right and there are still enough and useful patents under GF's control, TSMC may consider it.
Intel to Buy Chip-Making Operations From Digital
Interesting -- but does TSMC want all those fabs ?
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
I am about to patent several innovative ways of breathing. Soon I expect to be collecting royalties and license fees from everyone including breeders of animals and fish. Many patents and copyrights should never have been issued, since they are not truly innovative and don't meet the criteria on not being obvious to experts in the field. The current system many times borders on insanity and a law firm deliberately creating a mess to make a fortune cleaning it up.
 

hist78

Member
Interesting -- but does TSMC want all those fabs ?
Good question. As long as the price is right, I think those patents will be more important in TSMC's mind (remember Google bought Motorola for its patents?).

In terms of fabs, that's a big question and a big problem. I believe the local government's incentive was big part of several reasons why GF built their fab in upstate New York. Obviously that incentive alone is not sufficient to help GF to resolve many internal and external challenges they were facing.

Once a consultant told me he was surprised that the same type of equipment took him several days to install in Taiwan ended up to take him several weeks to complete in GF's fab in Malta New York.

Considering GF's current revenue level, I believe GF owns too many fabs at too many locations. Some of those fabs are not at the ideal location to have enough competitive advantage to survive.

TSMC won't buy GF unless they can close down some GF's fabs and/or sell some of them to other parties. On the other hand, other than TSMC and Samsung, I can't come out another suitable buyer.

Today's GF is too big to be digested yet too small to compete in this changing industry.
 
Many may not be aware but back in the 1970's, Hughes (I believe) had a fundamental process patent about self aligning gates/implanting. They targeted a few companies and when they got them to settle, they went after others. At the time, it was very easy to prove via pics that a company either used or did not used the patents. In the end, all settled with Hughes....
 
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There are 13 US patents and 3 German patents involved in this lawsuit. I did some search for those 13 US patents. The original patent assignee (the original company filed the patent application) is as follows:

Globalfundries 7
IBM 5
AMD 1

...
Thanks, for listing the patents. I have only looked briefly to a few of the patents but to me it seems difficult for most of them to pass the non-obvious criteria, e.g. non-obvious "to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains.". I was in the technology development until around 2010 and at first sight I would say that no real new technique is described in these patents; mainly a normal combination of known techniques which I think should not pass the non-obviousness criteria.
 

hist78

Member
Thanks, for listing the patents. I have only looked briefly to a few of the patents but to me it seems difficult for most of them to pass the non-obvious criteria, e.g. non-obvious "to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains.". I was in the technology development until around 2010 and at first sight I would say that no real new technique is described in these patents; mainly a normal combination of known techniques which I think should not pass the non-obviousness criteria.
Not sure if GF even thought about the consequence of many counter-suits might be brought to the court by all those companies GF has sued, including TSMC, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Mediatek, Xilinx, Cisco, nVidia, Google, Apple, etc. Those defenders are not small companies who like to be messed around. This is a very strange legal strategy to me.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
More from the press:


Politics:

 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
The IP mess is caused by a the mess that is the international patent system that has to be reformed in almost every aspect, such as the first to file, rather than the first to discover in the US. Also many, many patents, if not most should never be granted because they fail the test of not being obvious to experts in the field test. The world really needs a single international patent system that is set up to be transparent and fair. The current mess is designed to almost create conflict and create lucrative work for law firms. It's tragic the current patent and copy rights systems are inherently unfair and impediments to progress in many ways. Also patents should vary in length due to their level of true innovation.
 

coldsolder215

New member
"Hey guys, brilliant idea: let's screw with the most important supply chain in our industry. Best case scenario is we cripple manufacturing of the one product that still has broad consumer appeal and drives most semiconductor R&D today. Then we'll recruit Amy Schumer's cousin/master political operator to, uh, force parts to be made in our global foundries with technologies comparable to the ones we gave up on internally over a year ago. Worst case scena-"
"Inshallah let's do it"

GF really is led by some of the most cynical failsons of the industry. AMD manufacturing? Chartered? IBM Microelectonics? Dubai? McKinsey? Competent investment in R&D is not feasible nor palatable for these people, and so they turn to witless lawyers and politicians.

It's reminiscent of how NY used their tax dollars to convince IBM to build their 300mm fab in Fishkill instead of adjacent to their 200mm fab in VT. When the skilled labor force IBM spent decades building in VT declined to relocate, it led to many years of terrible 300mm yields and their downfall could commence. What's even better is the beamer responsible for this framework would go on to create Watson, a.k.a. medical AI's Josef Mengele. And the coup de grace is that the PR generated by Watson on Jeopardy is all that really mattered, because now he's IBM's EVP.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
I am at the GFC event today. My guess is that TSMC and GF will do a cross licensing deal since TSMC has 37,000 process related patents. We shall see.......
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
1. I think with 37,000 patents, TSMC will hit back on GF very hard in order to set an example and prevent any similar lawsuits in the future.

2. There is a possibility it's just a GF's tactic copied from the 1999 Digital vs Intel case. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company (the owner of GF) wants to exit from semiconductor industry and they feel TSMC is the only one who may make a decent offer. So Mubadala Investment wants to force TSMC to buy GF. If the price is right and there are still enough and useful patents under GF's control, TSMC may consider it.

Intel to Buy Chip-Making Operations From Digital
Remember, GF owns Chartered Semiconductor which produced “T” like processes for many years without much patent support I am told (SMIC and UMC too). TSMC may be sitting on a patent gold mine from the 40nm and above era. I seriously doubt TSMC would take legal action against customers though. Bad karma feng shui, absolutely.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
 

Tanj

Member
The IP mess is caused by a the mess that is the international patent system that has to be reformed in almost every aspect, such as the first to file, rather than the first to discover in the US. Also many, many patents, if not most should never be granted because they fail the test of not being obvious to experts in the field test. The world really needs a single international patent system that is set up to be transparent and fair. The current mess is designed to almost create conflict and create lucrative work for law firms. It's tragic the current patent and copy rights systems are inherently unfair and impediments to progress in many ways. Also patents should vary in length due to their level of true innovation.
We are first to file now, since a few years ago. Patents are by design a legal fantasy, originally a deal where progress is to be encouraged by publishing details of a new idea in turn for limited monopoly. Of course after centuries it has become clogged up and misused, like copyrights and other "intellectual property". It is all in the mind, so naturally you get lawyers. It has been interesting recently to see the patent offices have better search software, now even reaching back into the decades of imagery before digitization (I don't know who did that, but they now crop up in searches by examiners, who are only given a budget of hours to find them). Still, there is a lot of junk. In my own searches I have even found 3 or more patents to what is obviously the same thing from the same company. But if you get an alert examiner, you get to defend yourself from infinitesimal overlaps. It is a crap-shoot.

As for expecting a uniform system world wide, not very likely. Different societies have no reason to view these figments of the imagination in the same way, plus the obvious quality problems are not going to persuade any major jurisdiction to trust to any other. So if you want your monopoly, you have to pay. I don't know why you would expect it to be simple. Asking for a monopoly for 17 years or so should be a high bar.
 
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