RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM’s recent announcement that it had formed a partnership in Japan for semiconductor research and development has triggered a lawsuit from U.S.-based GlobalFoundries, the chip manufacturer that says intellectual property about chips was sold by IBM to GlobalFoundries in 2015.

The suit was announced Wednesday.

GlobalFoundries also raised concern about IBM working with Intel Corp starting in 2021 on new chip technology.

IBM is “unlawfully sharing confidential intellectual property and trade secrets,” GlobalFoundries said.

IBM to partner with Japanese firm to produce smaller, more powerful chips

In a statement, GlobalFoundries declared:

“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.”

IBM is seeking $2.5 billion in damages stemming from the 2015 sale. The matter remains unresolved with litigation continuing, a GlobalFoundries spokesperson told Reuters.