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Swiftech Withdraws H220 CPU Liquid Cooling Kit from US Market

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede

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    Asetek are danish, not american, just saying...
     
  2. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Ahh, I apologize then. I didn't know Astek had done it first.
    however, the patents are for the AIO system. Including radiator, pump and waterblock.

    The 2 patents they are using (in one of the lawsuits) are these:

    The two patents are intrinsically related: the latter was filed back in 2010, while the former revised the design of the system to better reflect the state of the art when it was filed in 2011. Both include reference to the use of a liquid-cooling system connected to a pump and radiator, designed to be fully integrated into a single maintenance-free design - and if you think that sounds a little broad, you might be right given that the patents encompass 'different embodiments of the heat exchanging system as well as means for establishing and controlling a flow of cooling liquid.'

    - from the link you provided. It seems like they give out patents for anything nowadays. People have been combining pumps, waterblocks and radiators for years. I remember when I was 16 or so and people were pulling radiators from mini's (the car) to use in their computers.
     
  3. Steven B

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    this ladies and gentlemen is how sad/small the US DIY market is, that is a company is even threatened with patent infringement, they would rather save the litigation money and pull the product lol.
     
  4. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    My CM aquagate R80 is from 2005.
     
  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I agree, companies like Rambus abuse the shit out of the law. In this case Asetek is in the right. They aren't trying to use some vague patent that doesn't really apply to the actual product to sue companies for money. They also aren't suing over products that they never intend to product.

    Actually, up until this point Asetek really couldn't sue anyone. Because the patents took so long to be approved they had no real way to enforce them, they had to wait for the patent to be approved.

    Now that the patents are approved they can start going after the people infringing on them.

    Generally a patent troll pulls up some old patent that doesn't apply to anything they currently produce. Asetek isn't being a patent troll here, not everyone that sues for patent infringement is being a patent troll. Asetek is genuinely protecting its ideas and products, and they aren't suing for money like a patent troll does.

    Yes, but the part they are contesting is the pump/block combo. This isn't an argument over AIO coolers, it is entirely based on the idea of combining the pump/block into one unit, which Asetek patented back 2003. Patents cover all the new ideas presented in them, and as far as I can tell no one was even thinking about combining the pump and block before 2003/4 when Asetek filed these patents.

    Your point?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
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  6. JDG1980

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    These days, patents mostly seem to be used to obstruct innovation. We'd probably be better off getting rid of them entirely. There is no reason to think that the lack of a 2-decade monopoly will stop individuals or companies from innovating new designs.
     
  7. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    nice, i seek too many times about h220 in god price, always $150 and above with low availability
     
  8. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Their original patent was filed May 6th 2005. The patent in question is an continuation on the patent filed Jan 1st 2009. I see nothing about 2003. If CM released a product in 2005, you can bet your ass it was in development since at least 2004.

    I can't find the original patent. But, I'd be very interested to see it.

    Source: http://www.google.com/patents/US20120061058.pdf (pdf)

    Edit - Found it

    https://www.google.com/patents/WO2006119761A1?cl=en

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week34/OG/html/1381-3/US08245764-20120821.html

    It's quite a lot of reading and I'm going to bed, so i'll take a look later. However, it seems they patented every possible type of heatsink. I'm not sure if it mentions a pump + waterblock in a single unit until the latest patent.

    From a very quick read through. I think you are wrong. The pump + waterblock component of the patent only seems to have been added this past year (2012). I need to read it in full to check nothing is mentioned in the earlier patent though, but logic is; if it is mentioned in a prior patent, why would they request a continuation?

    I can;t believe that it is in their 2005 filing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  9. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The pump block combo's original drawing uses Socket 478 mounting, its been in there for a while...

    Edit: This is the original patent filed in 2004. It clearly has the pump/block combo in it.

    http://www.google.com/patents/EP1923771A1
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
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  10. badtaylorx

    badtaylorx

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    i take it this does not involve the apogee II???
     
  11. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    That's what I was trying to figure out in the previous thread. The apogee drive and apogee drive II both appear to violate the patents...
     
  12. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    See that is what differentiates a patent troll from a company legitimately defending its patents. The Apogee Drive doesn't compete with any Asetek products. It is really in a different market segment from Asetek products. Asetek products are for people that don't want a custom water loop, that just want a sealed no hassle AIO liquid cooler. The Apogee Drive II is for people that do want custom liquid cooling, they are different market segments. The courts have demonstrated that they will not allow a company that has no products, and no plans to release products in a market segment, to enforce patents in that market segment. If Asetek was really a patent troll they could go after the Apogee Drive, but they obviously aren't. They are only going after products that infringe on their patents in market segments they are actually in.
     
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  13. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    well said!:rockout:
     
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  14. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So... Couldn't they just sell the drive, rad and tubes, with a little bottle of coolant in one nice little package... just not put together?
     
  15. james888

    james888

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    They could. But that leaves what is most scary about watercooling left for someone who hasn't done it before.
     
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  16. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Sure, but at that point why would anyone buy it? If they are going to do that, you might as well buy one of their other kits.

    Edit: It seems they already do that anyway. You just have to provide you own tubing. http://www.swiftech.com/h2o-x20-elite.aspx
     
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  17. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Fair enough. I couldn't find that patent before. It'd be interesting to see if Coolermaster had anything in development before that patent was filed. Apparently, neither parties are commenting on the case.

    They should at least be required to license the patent out, I personally do not like the Antek units very much and think it would be a shame to see those as the only option.
     
  18. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yeah, right now it seems Asetek is taking the stance that they don't licence their technology. However, if it went to court, the past precedent is that the court will force them to license the technology at a reasonable price.
     
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  19. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Here's the fun of the US patent system, a patent isn't really worth squat until it enters court.

    Let's say I patent a bicycle with a laser cannon mounted on the front. Some levity is needed, so just hang with me. Both the bicycle and the laser cannon might be patentable works, but my patent is the combination. Company X decides to take their own laser and bicycle combination to the market. I automatically win the patent suit, right?

    -WRONG-

    Company X and I go to court. A judge looks at the patent, and needs to determine two things. One, is the patent actually valid for the situation. As this is a clear case of similar products, we're still in business there. Two, does the patent actually describe a new or non-trivially derived use of material to complete its stated objective.

    Point two is sketchy. The patent office has approved the patent, but a judge can basically invalidate it. The patent failing to pass the judge's scrutiny means that it is not a valid and defensible patent, and you've got a worthless patent.

    With the flood of patents hitting the US patent office, more and more of these patents are being invalidated, despite approval. It's severely screwed up, but nobody's trying to fix it because it would take patent lawyers. Patent lawyers make huge amounts of money in patent litigation, so they aren't chomping at the bit to change things.


    So, best case Swiftech goes to court, spends huge amounts of money, and gets the patent overturned. The problem is the legal fees in this sort of transaction can never be recouped. Cooler Master might be able to afford this, but Swiftech might be too small. Worst case, litigation leads to the patent being upheld. This sort of patent will kill pretty much everyone not buying from Asetek. Goodbye market diversity, and reasonable pricing.

    I think Swiftech is just conceding the fight, because the legal fees are too large. It's shameful that this is where we are, and even more shameful that this sort of patent was approved in the US.
     
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  20. drdeathx

    drdeathx

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    Apple would steal that Idea CD and you would be in litigation for years.:toast:
     
  21. drdeathx

    drdeathx

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    We sure appreciate the education. Being computer nerds, I think we know what a patent is and what happens when companies steal the idea or design...

    Swiftech is bending cause their lawyers told them too.
     
  22. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The patent in question covers that L-shaped fitting on the block/pump, which can turn around 180° while remaining watertight.
     
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  23. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Here's where we're going to have to differentiate opinions on the matter.

    Asetek has filed a patent that is basically applicable to any closed loop heat transfer system. You're looking at a patent from a computer hardware focused company, and only seeing that one application.

    In reality, houses can use a system of tubes beneath the flooring for heating and cooling. A heat transfer segment, with an integrated pump, can push the heated or cooled liquid out and into the tubes. The tubes then transfer a portion of their heat into the surroundings. These systems have been around in high-end houses and building for decades.

    Now, tell me that Asetek has a case. A patentable system must demonstrate that it is a unique solution, and not a trivial combination of existing components.

    So, Swiftech is doing the only sensible thing. They are forgoing the huge money pit that this litigation will cost. They are pulling the product that they think might be the source of this litigation, and they are changing their aims.


    I cannot call this trolling, because it isn't. I'm calling this a crappy patent, that should never have been approved by the US patent system. Because it would take a law suit to challenge this, Swiftech is backing down. They cannot afford the litigation, but hopefully someone else will.

    As far as not suing for other products, just wait. Rarely do companies stop when something is proven viable. If one lawsuit threat stops the AIO competitors, another could well kill the custom loop makers. Who's to say that Asetek won't be designing these systems in the near future? I prefer to allow action to speak, and Asetek's licensing refusal speaks volumes about their intents.



    Edit:
    Let's clarify one more thing. If you were to spend 20 minutes, and remove all references to CPU and computer what do you have? A patent for a generic closed loop heat transfer system, where the pump happens to be integrated with one of the heat transfer surfaces. I could make the same claims about any car radiator, home heating/cooling system, and the environmental water heating systems used in houses (black sacks on the roof absorb solar energy, heat water, then the heated water is used in the house).

    This indicates that the patent was improperly awarded, and any judge presented with it should invalidate it for not meeting basic requirements. If the US patent office was competent and well staffed this crap never would have been given out in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  24. Hood

    Hood

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    Are the Cool IT-made products next on the list, since they also employ the rotating fittings? If so, Corsair has problems...
     
  25. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, Asetek does have an ongoing litigation with CoolIT.
     

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