TSMC and GlobalFoundries reach global patent license agreement, Intel facing multiple injunction threats in China, world’s largest family-owned winery sued for patent infringement, and more stories.

The patent-related news IP professionals are talking about now, curated by InQuartik’s editors. Join the conversation about today’s stories in the comments.

TSMC and GlobalFoundries signed a global patent license agreement to dismiss all ongoing litigation. According to the press release jointly issued by the two companies, the agreement involves “a broad life-of-patents cross-license to each other’s worldwide existing semiconductor patents as well as those patents that will be filed during the next ten years.” The cases involving TSMC’s big-name customers such as Google, Apple, and NVIDIA have also been dismissed. According to our analysis, it’s not only a win for both parties but most importantly a win for the semiconductor industry overall. • Read the full story.
Intel has been facing multiple injunction threats in China. An antitrust lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California reveled that Fortress Investment Group has been orchestrating different patent assertion entities against Intel and other high-tech companies. Since these non-practicing entities would stand little chance of winning an injunction in the US, Fortress Investment Group’s strategy is to move the litigation to China. The goal is to force the chip maker into unreasonable licensing terms through the threat of preventing it from doing business in one of its major markets. • Read the full story.
The world’s largest family-owned winery — California-based Gallo — has been sued for patent infringement by the inventor of a smart plant growing system. According to the complaint, the latter contacted the wine-making business several times to propose a licensing agreement, but always had his offer turned down. Instead, the company allegedly developed its own system by taking inspiration from the original one, thus resulting in the infringement charges. The patent at issue covers a technology to “accurately control the dispensing of water” by means of sensors to gather external data. • Read the full story.
Nike has sued Skechers for patent infringement over footwear innovations. On the heels of the news that saw Skechers calling out Nike on the pages of the L.A. Times, the latter has filed a fourth (in five years) lawsuit against the competitor. The patents at issue cover several footwear cushioning technologies, allegedly infringed in Skechers’ Skech-Air Jumpin’ Dots and Mega models. In an industry where trademark and design patents are usually involved, this case stands out since it focuses on utility patents. • Read the full story.
Apple might be releasing an augmented reality headset next year, according to a patent application released this week and originally filed last April. The document’s specification seems to hint at a glasses-like piece of technology that — for the first time — addresses a common issue with these devices: bright backgrounds that might make it difficult for the wearer to read the information on the screen. To solve this, Apple introduced an “adjustable opacity layer” to control the lens’ transparency. • Read the full story.

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