Monday, December 7th 2015

Asetek Tells AMD and GIGABYTE to Stop Sales of R9 Fury X and GTX 980 Water Force

AMD has reportedly been issued a "cease-and-desist" notice by liquid cooling components major Asetek over sale of its flagship Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. A similar C&D notice was sent to GIGABYTE, to stop sales of its GeForce GTX 980 Water Force graphics card. The two cards ship with a factory-fitted, closed-loop liquid cooling solution by Cooler Master, a company with which Asetek is locked in a patent infringement lawsuit, over its pump-block and movable fittings designs.

The Radeon R9 Fury X and GIGABYTE GTX 980 Water Force feature a derivative of Cooler Master's Seidon 120M closed-loop cooler, a product red-flagged by U.S. courts over patent infringement. Asetek has already succeeded in getting Cooler Master to withdraw similar aftermarket cooling solutions from the U.S. market, such as the Seidon, Nepton, and Glacier. The courts have ordered Cooler Master to pay 14.5 percent royalties from revenues on each infringing product sold in the market, to Asetek.
Source: Gamers Nexus
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36 Comments on Asetek Tells AMD and GIGABYTE to Stop Sales of R9 Fury X and GTX 980 Water Force

#1
xvi
Ugh. Supply goes down, used prices go up, no one wins here.
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
xvi, post: 3382384, member: 32389"
Ugh. Supply goes down, used prices go up, no one wins here.
Cease and desist would mean sales suddenly stop, regardless of inventory.
Posted on Reply
#4
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
Didn't somebody mention this on the release day of Fury X? And then we were all like "nah, somebody at AMD surely did their homework to ensure they wouldn't get gang-banged by this."

Turns out they didnt. Still, US patent system is a bad joke, especially when most of the patent disputes in the US miraculously get filed with a specific East Texas US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap. I'm pretty sure he had 1000 patent troll cases in his repertoir as yet unresolved.

EDIT: Oh yeah, he was also involved in the Newegg dispute. He was the one doing nothing, taking his time as the lawyer bills stacked up http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/after-20-month-delay-a-furious-newegg-still-cant-appeal-2-3m-patent-loss/

I wonder if Asetek will file with this guy.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheGuruStud
RCoon, post: 3382393, member: 104854"
Didn't somebody mention this on the release day of Fury X? And then we were all like "nah, somebody at AMD surely did their homework to ensure they wouldn't get gang-banged by this."

Turns out they didnt. Still, US patent system is a bad joke, especially when most of the patent disputes in the US miraculously get filed with a specific East Texas US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap. I'm pretty sure he had 1000 patent troll cases in his repertoir as yet unresolved.

EDIT: Oh yeah, he was also involved in the Newegg dispute. He was the one doing nothing, taking his time as the lawyer bills stacked up http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/after-20-month-delay-a-furious-newegg-still-cant-appeal-2-3m-patent-loss/

I wonder if Asetek will file with this guy.
So, basically, we have another judge with 10s of millions in hidden, offshore accounts.

Or fat stacks buried in the desert. I wonder which route people take nowadays lol.
Posted on Reply
#6
ZoneDymo
RCoon, post: 3382393, member: 104854"
Didn't somebody mention this on the release day of Fury X? And then we were all like "nah, somebody at AMD surely did their homework to ensure they wouldn't get gang-banged by this."

Turns out they didnt. Still, US patent system is a bad joke, especially when most of the patent disputes in the US miraculously get filed with a specific East Texas US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap. I'm pretty sure he had 1000 patent troll cases in his repertoir as yet unresolved.

EDIT: Oh yeah, he was also involved in the Newegg dispute. He was the one doing nothing, taking his time as the lawyer bills stacked up http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/after-20-month-delay-a-furious-newegg-still-cant-appeal-2-3m-patent-loss/

I wonder if Asetek will file with this guy.
Well lets not jump to conclusions, anyone and sue anyone or send these letters, that does not mean they actually have a leg to stand on.
Posted on Reply
#7
Ubersonic
Will this affect Europe too or just America?
Posted on Reply
#8
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
Ubersonic, post: 3382406, member: 153458"
Will this affect Europe too or just America?
Just 'Murica for now. If I remember their original lawsuit against CM et al prevented that patented design from being sold in the US only.
Posted on Reply
#9
ensabrenoir
..........fury x just became ultra rare collectors item...........hope the fury x 2 wasn't suppose to be water cooled....
Posted on Reply
#10
xvi
btarunr, post: 3382387, member: 43587"
Cease and desist would mean sales suddenly stop, regardless of inventory.
Well, that's what I mean. It's going to be used only.
Shouldn't it be on Cooler Master's head that they sold something they weren't supposed to under a lawsuit?
Posted on Reply
#11
HumanSmoke
The C&D's are probably aimed at AMD and Gigabyte putting pressure on Cooler Master to settle rather than go through a lengthy appeal process. Now that AMD and Gigabyte know that the product infringes another's IP they would be faced with voluntarily ceasing sales or attempt to have CM indemnify them for any legal (and possible judgement) costs.
I suppose it is lucky that the affected graphics cards are low-volume parts. Might be interesting to see how it affects the Fury X2 - maybe AMD just bypass the whole clusterf*ck and sign up for Asetek's 740GN.
Posted on Reply
#12
Sihastru
It's not that simple.

In August 2014, AMD and Asetek struck a deal for the next generation liquid cooled graphics cards: http://www.asetek.com/press-room/news/2014/asetek-announces-largest-ever-design-win/

Now, AMD decided to not honor that deal, dumped Asetek and went ahead with un unlicensed Cooler Master design (that infringes on the Asetek patent): http://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/Asetek-Sends-Cease-and-Desist-Water-Cooled-GPUs

Of course now everyone will blame Asetek for being a "patent troll" but that would be unwarranted, Asetek actively uses their designs in their own products (they even have high density server products) and in the design of a lot of licensed partner's products. The patent isn't your average "rectangle with rounded corners" deal either. So trolling doesn't really apply.

I don't know what Gigabyte was thinking, but they won't really be affected by this, the "Water Force" models are a "limited edition" design and they don't sell as much of them as you might think.

You can make excuses for AMD as much as you like, but the situation is clear. In this instance AMD is the bad guy.
Posted on Reply
#13
AsRock
TPU addict
How is AMD to blame ?, they just went with some one who was offering a better deal ?, If anyone is to blame it be CM.

Funny how no one blames nVidia as they had the issue too.

CM should of checked if it was infringing on anyone as they made the frigging things not nVidia or AMD.
Posted on Reply
#14
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
Sihastru, post: 3382471, member: 69811"
It's not that simple.

In August 2014, AMD and Asetek struck a deal for the next generation liquid cooled graphics cards: http://www.asetek.com/press-room/news/2014/asetek-announces-largest-ever-design-win/

Now, AMD decided to not honor that deal, dumped Asetek and went ahead with un unlicensed Cooler Master design (that infringes on the Asetek patent): http://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/Asetek-Sends-Cease-and-Desist-Water-Cooled-GPUs

Of course now everyone will blame Asetek for being a "patent troll" but that would be unwarranted, Asetek actively uses their designs in their own products (they even have high density server products) and in the design of a lot of licensed partner's products. The patent isn't your average "rectangle with rounded corners" deal either. So trolling doesn't really apply.

I don't know what Gigabyte was thinking, but they won't really be affected by this, the "Water Force" models are a "limited edition" design and they don't sell as much of them as you might think.

You can make excuses for AMD as much as you like, but the situation is clear. In this instance AMD is the bad guy.
Asetek patented a design that was invented and utilised by another company, years prior to the filing. It's like me filing a patent for the design of the fork, and then suing every manufacturer for using a design that has been used for hundreds of years.
Posted on Reply
#15
lZKoce
Sihastru, post: 3382471, member: 69811"
Of course now everyone will blame Asetek for being a "patent troll" but that would be unwarranted,

You can make excuses for AMD as much as you like, but the situation is clear. In this instance AMD is the bad guy.
Yep, I am totally calling them patent trolls :). To be fair, I am not familiar with the very precise details about their AIO patents, but it has been a good few years now, that they have been harvesting the benefits of this. I think it's about time the AIO is kinda of let free at least for home use. Provided people with access to milling machines, make their AIO's at home.... I find it annoying that Asetek can still swing the ban-stick . After all the physics behind AIO is not rocket science. It's stupid you have to change the appearance ( like Deepcool) in order to release an AIO without getting yourself a legal notice in my opinion.
Posted on Reply
#16
Whilhelm
AsRock, post: 3382475, member: 40310"
How is AMD to blame ?, they just went with some one who was offering a better deal ?, If anyone is to blame it be CM.

Funny how no one blames nVidia as they had the issue too.

CM should of checked if it was infringing on anyone as they made the frigging things not nVidia or AMD.
Gigabyte =/= nVidia so they actually get no blame here for once.

Sounds like after using Asatek for the 295x2, AMD jumped ship to CM for the better deal. I guess you get what you pay for.
Posted on Reply
#17
AsRock
TPU addict
What a pile of crap they are just as guilty, they used it too.
Posted on Reply
#18
GhostRyder
Seems currently that you can still get them (Though they told AMD not the retailers).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131675&cm_re=R9_Fury_X-_-14-131-675-_-Product

AsRock, post: 3382475, member: 40310"
How is AMD to blame ?, they just went with some one who was offering a better deal ?, If anyone is to blame it be CM.

Funny how no one blames nVidia as they had the issue too.

CM should of checked if it was infringing on anyone as they made the frigging things not nVidia or AMD.
Well, its Gigabyte only not Nvidia so that's why they would not get blamed because its not reference design. Though AMD is not to be blamed either as they just chose a better deal and got caught in the middle of a patent problem. I would have hoped they did their homework a bit better, however with patents like this its hard to tell if anything will ever come of them. Hopefully, they can find someone else to make a quick swap out of just the pump and block if they want to keep selling (That or they turn off the Fury X and just stick to Fury Nano).

ensabrenoir, post: 3382408, member: 83675"
..........fury x just became ultra rare collectors item...........hope the fury x 2 wasn't suppose to be water cooled....
It was lol (At least I would put my bet it was due to the fact Fury X was). So now we may have a huge delay on Fury X unless they can easily change out the pump and blocks...

That will be unfortunate, I had a build planned that would involve a new model dual GPU card in a tiny system...Guess ill hope they either resolve it or Nvidia decides to release the GTX 990.
Posted on Reply
#19
ensabrenoir
AsRock, post: 3382475, member: 40310"
How is AMD to blame ?, they just went with some one who was offering a better deal ?, If anyone is to blame it be CM.

Funny how no one blames nVidia as they had the issue too.

CM should of checked if it was infringing on anyone as they made the frigging things not nVidia or AMD.
When Asetek sued and won the a.i.o. world paused and took notice. Some incorporated their pump to the radiator, some just paid. I refuse to believe Amd is so incompetent that they would jeopardize a critical/ major product line.......and risk ...THIS... like they can loose any margin at all on anything..... Maybe they thought cooler master had resolved their patent issues or something. Somebody about to get fired. Can't blame Asetek....if they invented it.....you gotta pay a man for his work. Its true CM is the most at fault, but Nvidia dosen't have an oem product with a aio cooler. Giga as a partner put it out.
Posted on Reply
#20
Steevo
This is more about the moveable fittings in the closed loop system.... which I bought moveable fittings and my system is closed loop, so I am infringing their patent since like 2007 or so. I just don't use a pump block design.


Its complete and utter crap. Its like trying to patent the PB&J sandwich since bread can't be patented, and then suing anyone who makes any variation of any sandwich.
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Sihastru, post: 3382471, member: 69811"
Of course now everyone will blame Asetek for being a "patent troll" but that would be unwarranted, Asetek actively uses their designs in their own products (they even have high density server products) and in the design of a lot of licensed partner's products. The patent isn't your average "rectangle with rounded corners" deal either. So trolling doesn't really apply.
This. Plus they were completely fair with the licensing. They were completely willing to license the product design to CoolerMaster at a reasonable rate. Asetek didn't even set the licensing amount, they asked the courts to determine the licensing amount. CoolerMaster got themselves in even deeper water when they refused to pay the fee, and continued to sell products while filing a frivolous appeal. The appeal judge got so pissed at CoolerMaster he actually raised the licensing fee to send CoolerMaster a message.

lZKoce, post: 3382485, member: 102554"
Yep, I am totally calling them patent trolls :). To be fair, I am not familiar with the very precise details about their AIO patents, but it has been a good few years now, that they have been harvesting the benefits of this. I think it's about time the AIO is kinda of let free at least for home use. Provided people with access to milling machines, make their AIO's at home.... I find it annoying that Asetek can still swing the ban-stick . After all the physics behind AIO is not rocket science. It's stupid you have to change the appearance ( like Deepcool) in order to release an AIO without getting yourself a legal notice in my opinion.
AIOs are free to do whatever they want, there are just some conditions. If you use a pump/block combo, you have to pay AseTek reasonable licensing fees(and AseTek is being extremely reasonable here) , or you are free to design a system that doesn't use a pump/block combo.

Personally, I don't see the pump/block combo being part of most AIOs for much longer. I think companies are finding out the pumps are too weak when integrated into the small space required for a pump/block combo. I think we are going to start seeing companies move to systems with more powerful, and reliable, pumps attached to the rad, like what we are already seeing with Swiftech and EK in their closed loop systems.

Steevo, post: 3382549, member: 19251"
This is more about the moveable fittings in the closed loop system....
The patent in the lawsuit actually point to the pump/block combo as being the main patent that is infringed.

The two patents listed in the lawsuit, 8240362 and 8245764, are for pump/block combos.(8245764 is actually just an update to 8240362, which is why they contain a lot of the same info.)

I'm not sure where everyone is getting the movable fittings thing from. Note, I'm not just saying you here, as even the original news article says movable fittings. But nothing I can see in the patents the lawsuit is over says anything about movable fittings.
Posted on Reply
#22
thebluebumblebee
ensabrenoir, post: 3382537, member: 83675"
I refuse to believe Amd is so incompetent
Well.....:p
Actually, I've thought that AMD has been doing the right things lately, so I'm actually surprised by this.
Posted on Reply
#23
RejZoR
Oh for crying out loud, would companies just for once stop behaving like freaking children in a sand pit?! Jesus. If there was patent infringement, sue them and take part of required royalties, don't freaking screw users. Damn.
Posted on Reply
#24
Vayra86
I think it is too early to point the finger at AMD, or even point it at AMD at all.

The Fury X AIO is supplied by CM, if CM assured AMD that everything was in order, there is little left to do for AMD. AMD can sue or demand compensation from CM instead.

The AIO patents from Asetek and its solution are being used in a great number of products...

Arctic Accelero Hybrid III - 140
Arctic Accelero Hybrid II - 120
Arctic Liquid Freezer 120
Arctic Liquid Freezer 240
Corsair Hydro Series™ H110i GTX
Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i GTX
Corsair Hydro Series™ H80i GT
Corsair Hydro Series™ H110
Corsair Hydro Series™ H105
Corsair Hydro Series™ H90
Corsair Hydro Series™ H75
Corsair Hydro Series™ H55
CRYORIG A Series
EVGA GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID
Intel BXTS13X Liquid Cooling
NZXT KRAKEN™ X41
NZXT KRAKEN™ X31
NZXT KRAKEN™ X61
Thermaltake WATER3.0 Ultimate
Thermaltake WATER3.0 Extreme
Thermaltake WATER3.0 Pro
Thermtaltake WATER3.0 Performer

... and these are all paid for. CM is the odd one out here.
Posted on Reply
#25
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
RejZoR, post: 3382571, member: 1515"
Oh for crying out loud, would companies just for once stop behaving like freaking children in a sand pit?! Jesus. If there was patent infringement, sue them and take part of required royalties, don't freaking screw users. Damn.
The thing is, they have. CoolerMaster isn't paying licensing fees, so now AseTek is completely justified in demanding the product not be allowed to be sold.

And maybe it is just me, but I'm getting the feeling this was CoolerMasters way to get rid of units they couldn't sell because of the lawsuit. Hoping they could just sell them off to AMD, like at just enough to break even, as a better alternative to just throwing them in the trash.

Vayra86, post: 3382572, member: 152404"
I think it is too early to point the finger at AMD, or even point it at AMD at all.

The Fury X AIO is supplied by CM, if CM assured AMD that everything was in order, there is little left to do for AMD. AMD can sue or demand compensation from CM instead.
This is true. AMD is really a victim of CoolerMaster here. When they struck the deal with CoolerMaster, it was up to CoolerMaster to make sure the licensing to AseTek was covered. AMD just bought a product from a company, now it turns out that company is shady and not paying the licensing and it is screwing over AMD, but that is the fault of the company selling the product not the customer buying it.
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