Monday, March 11th 2013

Asetek Sues Cooler Master Over Multiple Patent Infringements

Asetek, which manufactures closed-loop liquid cooling solutions that are re-branded by several companies, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Cooler Master alleging infringement of multiple patents held by Asetek. Cooler Master's recently launched Seidon line of closed-loop liquid CPU coolers are points of contention for Asetek, as it claims the products infringe upon patent numbers 8,240,362 and 8,245,764, held by the company.

Seidon 120M and 240M may have been launched late January 2013, but had been pictured much earlier, in September. Ahead of its launch, Asetek claims it had contacted Cooler Master with a cease-and-desist order, but it claims the latter didn't respond satisfactorily, going ahead with the launch. The case (Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-00457-JSC) will now be heard by a US Court. Cooler Master's defense could stress on the point the essential design of a CPU liquid cooler hasn't changed for decades. Other liquid cooling makers, which aren't particularly as big as Asetek (which sells liquid cooling solutions to even the server and defense industries), will be closely following the case.

Source: eTeknix
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32 Comments on Asetek Sues Cooler Master Over Multiple Patent Infringements

#2
Chaitanya
Wow, this is ridiculous. can anyone tell me what happened with asetek's lawsuit against cool-it. Also one of the patents seems to describe generic liquid cooling system.
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#4
Dj-ElectriC
Next up: star trek creators sue Asetek for their logo

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#6
Jorge
Winning a patent infringement case these days is getting much tougher and some patents are being over-turned. Without reviewing the patent and alleged infringement details, there is no means to accurate assess the claims.

In some infringement cases its still profitable even after the litigation costs and fine, to sell a product to consumers. With CLCs being the new tit and arse for 13 year old PC enthusiasts, Cooler Master may still come out ahead financially after the dust settles. No one ever lost money under estimating the technical intelligence of consumers.
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#7
Vancha
Yeah, this isn't the kind of thing we want as the sole domain of a single company. Minus points for Asetek.
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#8
Sasqui
by: btarunr
Asetek got lucky with its patent applications. Now everyone with tubes running to a CPU socket should kiss its err...exhaust.
The patent system is broken. Has anyone here ever heard of "Prior Art"? :shadedshu
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#9
erocker
by: Sasqui
The patent system is broken.
Very much so.
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Sasqui
The patent system is broken. Has anyone here ever heard of "Prior Art"? :shadedshu
There is no prior art claim here. The patents are for closed loop systems, and they were fired in 2006. Back then the idea for a closed loop liquid cooling system was new. The part of the patent system that is broken is the part that took 6 years to grant Asetek patents on the ideas. It allowed other manufacturers to copy the technology for 6 years and now it looks like Asetek is patent trolling when they aren't. They are just finally able to legally defend their patents.
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#11
Sasqui
by: newtekie1
There is no prior art claim here. The patents are for closed loop systems, and they were fired in 2006. Back then the idea for a closed loop liquid cooling system was new. The part of the patent system that is broken is the part that took 6 years to grant Asetek patents on the ideas. It allowed other manufacturers to copy the technology for 6 years and now it looks like Asetek is patent trolling when they aren't. They are just finally able to legally defend their patents.
I purchased a closed loop watercooling system back in 2003 from Koolance, they made them even before that. I'd call that "prior" to 2006.
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#12
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Sasqui
I purchased a closed loop watercooling system back in 2003 from Koolance, they made them even before that. I'd call that "prior" to 2006.
I've been googling this for a bit now and can't seem to find anything that looks like what they do now.. Nothing on their home page either (I did find watercooled PSU's though, that was kind of awesome). You have some links?
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#13
_Zod_
Closed loop water cooling systems have been in use for decades, just not for this particular application. Good enough for me to invalidate the patent, hell it shouldn't have been issued a patent in the fist place. Just because you take preexisting tech and apply it to something it wasn't initially designed for should not be good enough to achieve a patent.
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Sasqui
I purchased a closed loop watercooling system back in 2003 from Koolance, they made them even before that. I'd call that "prior" to 2006.
I'd like to see which one you're talking about. I remember the koolance kits from that time and none were closed loop, and none had a pump/block combo. They all required you fill them yourself, attach the tubing yourself, pick the block yourself, attach the block to the tubing yourself, and they were nothing more that a rad/pump/res stuffed in a pre-assembled box. That isn't a closed loop system with a pump/block combo.

Edit: The closest I could find from Koolance from 2003 was the Exos. Not even close to a pre-filled, closed loop system, with a pump/block combo.

by: _Zod_
Closed loop water cooling systems have been in use for decades, just not for this particular application. Good enough for me to invalidate the patent, hell it shouldn't have been issued a patent in the fist place. Just because you take preexisting tech and apply it to something it wasn't initially designed for should not be good enough to achieve a patent.
People need to realize that the patent isn't for closed loop coolers, they are actually for the pump block combo. And to show how laughably long it took for the patent to go through the original drawing in the patent show socket 478 retention style.
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#15
Batou1986
We put a pump on top of a water block and covered it in plastic and hooked it to a small radiator.
Truly an engineering marvel.
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Batou1986
We put a pump on top of a water block and covered it in plastic and hooked it to a small radiator.
Truly an engineering marvel.
So innovated no one thought of it before them, that is how inovations and patents work.

You wouldn't think "we took CDs and increased the data density" was a great innovation, yet the DVD is patented and anyone that uses it has to pay licensing fees to the companies that figured it out, and when someone did the same thing over again they got to patent it and charge licensing fees for Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.
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#17
Batou1986
by: newtekie1
So innovated no one thought of it before them, that is how inovations and patents work.

You wouldn't think "we took CDs and increased the data density" was a great innovation, yet the DVD is patented and anyone that uses it has to pay licensing fees to the companies that figured it out, and when someone did the same thing over again they got to patent it and charge licensing fees for Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.
Yes but the technical engineering there is incredibly more complex and deserving of a patent then making water flow over a piece of copper with an impeller.
If Asteks design was so unique it wouldn't have been so easily copied.
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#18
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
I would be curious is Sanyo Denki holds the first AIO sealed...

I cannot find a release date, but take a look at the 109-LC1-003

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#19
TRWOV
Seems to me that Asetek is in the right here. As newtekie says, the patent covers the specific design of the pump-block. An example of a radiator-pump-reservoir-block assembly is shown as prior art in the patent claim so it isn't as if Asetek was being sneaky with the USPTO or something.




by: cdawall
I would be curious is Sanyo Denki holds the first AIO sealed...

I cannot find a release date, but take a look at the 109-LC1-003

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Sanyo-Denki-San-Ace-Computer-CPU-Liquid-Water-Cooling-Cooler-System-All-In-One-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/$T2eC16NHJG8E9nyfmZEEBQWS48fkrQ~~60_35.JPG
It doesn't have a pump-block which is what Asetek patented. Completely unrelated.



On a side note, I have one of those in my 775 rig. The thing is ginormous:

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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: TRWOV
Seems to me that Asetek is in the right here. As newtekie says, the patent covers the specific design of the pump-block. An example of a radiator-pump-reservoir-block assembly is shown as prior art in the patent claim so it isn't as if Asetek was being sneaky with the USPTO or something.

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/3224/capture015j.jpg




It doesn't have a pump-block which is what Asetek patented. Completely unrelated.



On a side note, I have one of those in my 775 rig. The thing is ginormous:

http://imageshack.us/a/img839/6139/img0943g.jpg
Good catch my mistake.
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#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Batou1986
Yes but the technical engineering there is incredibly more complex and deserving of a patent then making water flow over a piece of copper with an impeller.
If Asteks design was so unique it wouldn't have been so easily copied.
It doesn't matter how complex it actually is. They came up with something new that no one else did, and it is entirely their right to patent it so they can make money off it and their competitors can't without licensing. That is the entire idea of the patent system, without it there would be no innovation. Most patents are actually just taking something that exists already and improving it, in this case AseTek took watercooling and improved it.
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#22
blibba
by: newtekie1
without it there would be no innovation.
That's not true. There would probably be less, though.

The problem is that with the patent system we impede progress by creating monopolies that last for far too long. And while in this case it seems that there is no case of prior art, generally speaking too many patents are awarded for which there is an obvious case of prior art or no real innovation.

Imo patents should grant much shorter periods of exclusive rights, and they should be dealt with (hugely) more quickly by the patent office. In addition, there should be stricter grounds on what they can be given for. I don't think that in this age of information availability that would be too hard to do.
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#23
Prima.Vera
by: Sasqui
The patent system is broken. Has anyone here ever heard of "Prior Art"? :shadedshu
Mostly in US. There you can patent almost everything including warm water or fresh air if you want it...
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#24
tokyoduong
What is with this hate for the US. The Euro Union as a whole has much more problems than the US as a whole.
The only other nation that is worth comparing to is China which has way more problems than the US ever did.
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