Google and Apple have landed in the midst of a patent dispute

Alyssa Clementi

Certain Apple and Google phones could be removed from shelves as a result of a newly surfaced patent dispute between chipmakers GlobalFoundries and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). GlobalFoundries, which is based in the US, has accused TSMC of stealing intellectual property and using the technology in products including the iPhone XS and Pixel smartphones.

As part of the lawsuit, GlobalFoundries is not only seeking “significant damages”, but also wants an import ban of products that use chips from TSMC. Other companies involved in the dispute include Nvdia, Asus, Motorola, and OnePlus. GlobalFoundries promoted the purchase of alternative brands like Samsung and LG, which are uninvolved.

"While semiconductor manufacturing has continued to shift to Asia, GF has bucked the trend by investing heavily in the American and European semiconductor industries, spending more than $15bn in the last decade in the US and more than $6bn in Europe's largest semiconductor manufacturing fabrication facility. These lawsuits are aimed at protecting those investments and the US and European-based innovation that powers them," said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president, engineering and technology at GlobalFoundries.

Bartlett continued, "For years, while we have been devoting billions of dollars to domestic research and development, TSMC has been unlawfully reaping the benefits of our investments. This action is critical to halt Taiwan Semiconductor's unlawful use of our vital assets and to safeguard the American and European manufacturing base."

"We are disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology," said TSMC in a statement.