Saturday, July 20th 2013

Swiftech Withdraws H220 CPU Liquid Cooling Kit from US Market

Rouchon Industries Inc., d/b/a/ Swiftech today announced the withdrawal from US sales of the H220 CPU cooling kit. On June 7 2013, Rouchon Industries Inc., d/b/a/ Swiftech received a letter from Asetek' s lawyers claiming that the H220 CPU cooler infringes on their US patents 8,240,362 (the '362 patent) and 8,245,764 (the '764 patent) and to cease selling, offering for sale and importing the H220 CPU cooler in the United States. Pending final disposition of this matter, Swiftech immediately placed a hold on shipments of the H220 CPU cooling kits into the USA.

On June 27, 2013 Swiftech's counsel responded to Asetek' s attorney by a letter stating that preliminarily, Swiftech does not believe that the H220 product infringes any valid claim of the '362 and '764 patents. Nonetheless, in an effort to avoid any unnecessary litigation Swiftech also asked whether Asetek would be willing to offer a nonexclusive license for the asserted patents. On July 12, 2013 Swiftech received a response from Asetek' s law firm stating that the company does not offer licenses.

Swiftech continues to firmly assert its position with regards to the alleged infringement as stated in its letter dated June 27, 2013. Nevertheless, in order to avoid litigation the company's management has now made the business decision to withdraw the H220 CPU cooler from the US market. Given these circumstances, Swiftech wants to hereby reassure its US customers that: 1/ it will continue to provide full technical and warranty support for the H220 CPU cooling kits that have been sold in the US, and 2/ the product will continue to be sold in other countries.

Swiftech sincerely apologizes to its US customers for this extraordinary situation, the very first in its long history. For the past 15 years, Swiftech has been at the forefront of technological innovation in this industry, and it will continue to do so. In the words of Gabriel Rouchon, the company's Chairman and CTA: "I want our customers to know and expect with absolute confidence that Swiftech's resourcefulness will once again be brilliantly demonstrated in the immediate future."
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95 Comments on Swiftech Withdraws H220 CPU Liquid Cooling Kit from US Market

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
There will be a lot more of this, anyone using a pump/block combo will infringe on these patents. Swiftech knows they infringe on the patents, otherwise they wouldn't have rolled over so quickly.

Asetek is in the right here, but they should allow licensing, and I believe is someone went to court about it Asetek would be forced to give reasonably priced licenses.
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
I hope CM Seidon puts up a better fight. It's a very nice Asetek alternative. It would be a shame if US buyers lost that too.

SilverStone was pretty vocal in claiming that its new Tundra kits don't step on Asetek's toes. Hope that stays, too.
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: btarunr
I hope CM Seidon puts up a better fight. It's a very nice Asetek alternative. It would be a shame if US buyers lost that too.
My guess is CoolIT will be the one to put up the fight. We'll see about the CM Seidon, Asetek started the lawsuit process against them in March, and that unit is an obvious rip-off of Asetek products, I even thought it was Asetek made when I saw it.
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#4
erocker
Screw competition! Free market? Hahaha!!

Perhaps Mercedes Benz should start suing over the automobile. We'd all be driving Benz's around here!
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#5
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: McSteel
This is even worse than that idiotic patent for using a 140mm fan in a PSU... But not as bad as Apple's rounded rectangle.
The US Patent Office really needs a revision or six.

Nice going Asetek. Swiftech clearly outplayed you, so now you resort to suing, instead of improving your own offerings. Classy.
Sounds a lot like Apple lately.
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#6
RejZoR
It makes me wonder how anyone can these days even make or invent anything if every friggin thing in this world is already patented and protected in one or another way. It totally sucks. Big stand alone things, fine. But these days, they patent mouse clicking and breathing (almost), so how can you go beyond if they cover even the basics which are almost always needed to achieve something greater?
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#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: erocker
Screw competition! Free market? Hahaha!!

Perhaps Mercedes Benz should start suing over the automobile. We'd all be driving Benz's around here!
That is why licensing exists.

by: RejZoR
It makes me wonder how anyone can these days even make or invent anything if every friggin thing in this world is already patented and protected in one or another way. It totally sucks. Big stand alone things, fine. But these days, they patent mouse clicking and breathing (almost), so how can you go beyond if they cover even the basics which are almost always needed to achieve something greater?
Yet there are thousands of patents for new ideas every day.
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#8
brian111
by: newtekie1
There will be a lot more of this, anyone using a pump/block combo will infringe on these patents. Swiftech knows they infringe on the patents, otherwise they wouldn't have rolled over so quickly.

Asetek is in the right here, but they should allow licensing, and I believe is someone went to court about it Asetek would be forced to give reasonably priced licenses.
I have no idea if they knew they were infringing on patents, put the expense of litigation might explain "rolling over".
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#9
silkstone
Coolermaster have been making AIO coolers for a very long time (not many were very good though). I can't see how they don't hold patents for AIO solutions.
I had an Aquagate viva back in 2007, way before Astek released anything on the market.

Asetek are behaving like patent bullies. There is no way they came up with the idea of AIO coolers.
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#10
Xzibit
I don't see why people are upset.

Asetek has a right to protect its patents and sue if need be. These aftermarket AIO are being made/designed overseas where copyright laws aren't as strict or ignored and then being shipped to US market.

If other regions dis-reguard your claim on a patent why wouldn't you protect it in a region/country where your patent is recognized. Makes perfect sense unless you like loosing money that otherwise would be yours.
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#11
tigger
I'm the only one
I'm using a Aquagate R80, wonder if that was a actual CM design?
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#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: silkstone
Coolermaster have been making AIO coolers for a very long time (not many were very good though). I can't see how they don't hold patents for AIO solutions.
I had an Aquagate viva back in 2007, way before Astek released anything on the market.

Asetek are behaving like patent bullies. There is no way they came up with the idea of AIO coolers.
The claim Asetek is making has nothing to do with the idea of AIO liquid cooling, their claims are based on the idea of combining the pump and waterblock into one unit. As far as I've seen they were the first to demonstrate and begin the process to patent this idea way back in 2003.

And Asetek has been producing AIO liquid coolers for OEMs since at least 2005. The HP Blackbird was the first real consumer level product to see an AIO unit from Asetek, and it came out in 2007, but they had been doing AOI units for workstation and server class computers for a least 2 years before that.
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#13
micropage7
first i think its coz of product failure but it just coz of patents :D:D
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#14
HammerON
The Watchful Moderator
by: newtekie1
The claim Asetek is making has nothing to do with the idea of AIO liquid cooling, their claims are based on the idea of combining the pump and waterblock into one unit. As far as I've seen they were the first to demonstrate and begin the process to patent this idea way back in 2003.

And Asetek has been producing AIO liquid coolers for OEMs since at least 2005.
I am all for patents in some situations. However in this instance I am against it as it stifles competition in this product area (one that has grown rapidly as of late). One thing I found attractive about Swiftech's H220 is the ability to add to the loop (expandability). This is not a feature that I have seen with any other AIO water cooling solutions.
So with Asetek having the patent then we can only rely on them for what they produce (or don't produce).
Posted on Reply
#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: HammerON
I am all for patents in some situations. However in this instance I am against it as it stifles competition in this product area (one that has grown rapidly as of late). One thing I found attractive about Swiftech's H220 is the ability to add to the loop (expandability). This is not a feature that I have seen with any other AIO water cooling solutions.
So with Asetek having the patent then we can only rely on them for what they produce (or don't produce).
As I've said, that is why licensing exists. The system is set up to not allow one company to hold a monopoly. Asetek might refuse licensing at first, but once one(or a few) company(s) actually takes the issue to court Asetek will have to allow licensing at a reasonable cost. If neither party can agree on a reasonable cost then the courts can decide that too.

At this point, no company has to stop producing coolers that Asetek claims infringes on the patents. They can let Asetek take them to court, they would lose, but at the same time they could get the courts to rule that Asetek has to allow licensing. It is just going to take a company to actually do it and not just role over.

In fact, more than likely the other companies Asetek has already sued(like CoolIT) have already settled out of court for some relatively small sum(compared to what they've made on the products so far) as well as a continuing licensing fee. We just haven't heard anything about it because no one really talks about out of court settlements and a lot of times a condition of the settlement is that you don't talk about it. I mean, Asetek sued CoolIT almost a year ago, and we haven't heard anything come of it, likely because they settled out of court a while ago and CoolIT continued on making AIO coolers.
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#16
HammerON
The Watchful Moderator
Sorry - missed your post on licensing. Good point.
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#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: HammerON
Sorry - missed your post on licensing. Good point.
To be fair to you, my other post about licensing was in the other thread, and the post in this thread was a small easily missed single line.:toast:
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#18
james888
Asetek may be completely in the right under current law, but one could question if the laws might need revision. I don't know enough to say if Asetek is abusing the patent laws but other companies have. It could be even that the real patent trolls are so prevalent that any company using the patent laws seems like a patent troll whether or not they are.
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#19
GC_PaNzerFIN
We do not offer licensing because we want a monopoly. Lets sue them for breaking our patents which we don't license.

Patenting something very general and fundamental is very questionable and most of the time illegal. You are obliged to license it at "reasonable" fee.

by: micropage7
first i think its coz of product failure but it just coz of patents :D:D
Haha same. Wouldn't have been surprising because of all the problems with this kit.
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#20
ypsylon
Patent Trolls, Patent Trolls, we are Patent Trolls... Negotiation is irrelevant, you will be Trolled. Resistance is futile. :D

In truth Swiftech kit is quite OK, but CM Eisberg Prestige trounces everything from Asetek. Asetek are simply pissed off at the competition. Euphemism "patent infringement" is just smoke screen.

Thinking at the Asetek HQ is: sales dropping we should troll somebody for lost 'profits'.
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#21
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: ypsylon

Thinking at the Asetek HQ is: sales dropping we should troll somebody for lost 'profits'.
Id hardly say sales are dropping a lot of Antec, Corsair - even the AIO that comes with the AMD FX line is made by Asetek (afaik they are even making some TT AIO's though they might deny it, the design is similar)

I wouldnt say sales are dropping
Posted on Reply
#22
Norton
WCG-TPU Team Captain
by: btarunr
In the words of Gabriel Rouchon, the company's Chairman and CTA: "I want our customers to know and expect with absolute confidence that Swiftech's resourcefulness will once again be brilliantly demonstrated in the immediate future."
Seems to me, based on this statement, that Swiftech may already have a plan and would rather spend their money on deploying it rather than feeding lawyers/putting their profits into Asetek's pocket.
Posted on Reply
#23
tigger
I'm the only one
Surely the all in one pump/block cannot be copyrighted, only the design/internals. Maybe Swiftech has a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it, and call it a weasel.
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#24
xhawn11
by: newtekie1
There will be a lot more of this, anyone using a pump/block combo will infringe on these patents. Swiftech knows they infringe on the patents, otherwise they wouldn't have rolled over so quickly.

Asetek is in the right here, but they should allow licensing, and I believe is someone went to court about it Asetek would be forced to give reasonably priced licenses.
They pulled out quickly because they know they wont win a 'murican company in 'murica (apple vs samsung) :roll:
Posted on Reply
#25
TheLostSwede
Asetek are danish, not american, just saying...
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