Asetek Are Seeking To Stop The Sale Of R9 Fury X Graphics Cards
Asetek has been on a rampage as of late. Not only have they taken Swiftech’s CoolIT to the cleaners with a healthy settlement of $1,873,168 for patent infringement, they have now also been able to sue and get damages from Cooler Master’s parent company CMI based on patent infringements. At first CMI was hit with a 14.5% royalty rate, but after CMI’s request of a new trial and subsequent conclusion, Asetek was given a further 25.375% of enhanced damages for infringing products sold this year. They have also prevented Cooler Master from selling their AIO water coolers in the USA.
It seems that you should chose who you share your bed with, since AMD are being roped into the infringement saga since their R9 Fury X graphics card features an AIO water cooler made for them by Cooler Master. As a result they have been hit with a Cease & Desist order over the sales of the graphics cards. Since the original positive ruling with Coolit, and now CMI, it seems Asetek has been confident enough to hit Gigabyte as well, since their Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce uses a Cooler Master 120M LCS. GamerNexus received the following statement from Asetek over their recent barrage of litigation against all things water cooled:
Asetek’s attorneys have recently sent cease and desist letters to Gigabyte, demanding that it cease selling Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce (sold under at least model number GV-N980WAOC-4GD) because it contains the Seidon 120M found by the court to infringe Asetek’s patents.
Asetek’s attorneys have also written a cease and desist letter to AMD, demanding that it stop selling its Radeon R9 Fury X product, because it infringes Asetek’s patents. Our attorneys have had some difficulty obtaining a Gigabyte GV-N98TXTREME W-6GD, but we expect to receive and analyze one very soon for infringement.
Asetek has patents over 8245764 and 8240362 which deal with liquid cooling circulation with pump, thermal exchange chamber and heat exchange interface, as well as the integration of the LCS with fan and radiator. It’s unclear what AMD and Gigabyte will do in the face of the C&D’s they have been hit with, but we can probably speculate. It’s possible that they could agree to pay over a percentage of their sales to keep the products on the shelves. With Gigabyte, they may have more maneuverability, but the options facing AMD might be of more interest to the end user. AMDs R9 Fury X is only sold with the reference cooler, regardless of AIB, so with this C&D it may actually force AMD to allow their AIB’s to do custom cards. This means a wider variety of R9 Fury X’s, which is always good for the consumer. Obviously this is all speculation, but we can dream, right? It’s pretty clear the AIO water cooling market is dominated by those with patents, so I’m actually wondering if this will slow down the development of AIO coolers or possibly increase their pricing, since a single company might hold a monopoly on designs and demand a pretty penny for partners to use them.