Cross-licensing deal between chipmakers averts fears of potential ban on import of iOS devices

TSMC HQ (Image credit: TSMC)

What you need to know

  • TSMC and GlobalFoundries have signed a cross-licensing agreement.
  • It brings to an end a 2 month legal battle over semiconductor patents and technology.
  • Any kind of ruling may have resulted in an impact on the supply of iOS devices.

Rival chipmakers TSMC and GlobalFoundries have signed a cross-licensing agreement regarding certain semiconductor patents, resolving their ongoing legal battle and averting fears an unfavorable ruling could result in a ban on the import of certain devices, including Apple products, in the US, Germany and Singapore.

As reported by AppleInsider:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and competitor GlobalFoundries on Monday inked an agreement to cross-license certain patents related to semiconductor technology, resolving a two-month-old multi-jurisdictional legal dispute that threatened the businesses of customers like TSMC partner Apple. Under terms of what is being billed as a "broad" global patent cross-licensing deal, TSMC and GlobalFoundries will license each other's existing worldwide semiconductor patents, as well as future intellectual property filed in the next 10 years, in a bid to halt hostilities.

According to the report the agreement will allow both companies to freely access each other's technologies and services. It also means that there is no danger posed to TSMC customer Apple. The initial lawsuit raised by GlobalFoundries sought a ban on the import of devices which used technology it believed infringed on its patents. It claimed that Apple was amongst the customers that could be affected and included countries such as the US and Germany. A countersuit by TSMC was lodged, paving the way for settlement, which now seems to have been reached.

TSMC is touted as the world's largest contract chipmaker, and is responsible for Apple's A13 Bionic chip, which powers the iPhone 11.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9