GlobalFoundries sues IBM to protect is IP and trade secrets

GlobalFoundries sues IBM to protect is IP and trade secrets

GlobalFoundries files a lawsuit against IBM following unlawful disclosure and licensing of IP to Intel and others

Back in 2015, IBM sold its microelectronics business to GlobalFoundries, giving GlobalFoundries the exclusive right to license and disclose the technologies that were transferred to them following the sale. 

GlobalFoundries has confirmed that they have filed a lawsuit against IBM, stating that IBM has unlawfully disclosed GlobalFoundries IP and trade secrets to competitors and has been “unjustly receiving potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing income and other benefits”. Amongst other companies, IBM has reportedly disclosed trade secrets and IP to Intel, who are in the process of growing their foundry business and Rapidus, a newly formed advanced logic foundry. 

In their lawsuit, GlobalFoundries has stated that IBM had no right to disclose various technologies with partners and are seeking an injunction against IBM to prevent any additional unlawful disclosures. GlobalFoundries are also seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

    GlobalFoundries (NASDAQ: GFS)?(GF) today sued IBM for trade secret misappropriation. The complaint asserts the former semiconductor manufacturing company has unlawfully disclosed GF’s confidential IP and trade secrets, after IBM sold its microelectronics business to GF in 2015. The technology at issue was collaboratively developed, over decades, by the companies in Albany, New York and the sole and exclusive right to license and disclose that technology was transferred to GF upon the sale.  

In the legal action filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, GF asserts that IBM unlawfully disclosed GF IP and trade secrets to IBM partners including Intel and Japan’s Rapidus, a newly formed advanced logic foundry, and by doing so, IBM is unjustly receiving potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing income and other benefits. 

The complaint notes that IBM’s executives have described the Intel and Rapidus partnerships as based on decades of technology derived from research conducted at the Albany NanoTech Complex, technology that they had no right to disclose. It also raises concerns over the extent to which IBM may have unlawfully disclosed GF’s IP and trade secrets beyond these two heavily publicized partnerships. 

GF is asking for compensatory and punitive damages as well as an injunction against IBM preventing further unlawful disclosure and use of GF’s trade secrets.  

In addition, GF’s complaint asserts that IBM is targeting and recruiting GF’s world-class engineering talent at the company’s manufacturing facility, which is located near the Albany NanoTech Complex. In the complaint, GF asks the court to end the unlawful recruitment efforts, which have accelerated since the IBM/Rapidus announcement in December 2022. 

GF has made significant investment in research and development to advance its feature-rich technology and is one of the world’s leading semiconductor foundries with a global footprint and more than 13,000 employees, 2,500 of whom are based at the company’s headquarters in upstate New York. GF will aggressively defend its investments in technology against those who violate them, as the complaint demonstrates IBM has repeatedly done. 

GlobalFoundries sues IBM to protect is IP and trade secrets  

With this lawsuit GlobalFoundries seeks to protect the technology that they bought and paid for, and seeks to prevent IBM from further profiting from technologies that GlobalFoundries purchased from IBM alongside their  microelectronics business. In essence, GlobalFoundries are stating that IBM are trying to have their cake and eat it, or in this case sell their IP and keep it. 

Not only have IBM’s actions, in GlobalFoundries eyes, prevented GlobalFoundries from generating licensing revenue, it has also given its IP and trade secrets to competitors. Both of these actions are damaging to GlobalFoundries, and GlobalFoundries wants justice. 

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