Asetek Patent Dispute With Cooler Master Hits AMD Fury X and GIGABYTE WATERFORCE

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅07.12.2015 12:33:09

In September Asetek's long-running patent dispute with Cooler Master over their Closed Loop Liquid Cooler pump block and fitting designs reached a major milestone, a jury ruling that CMI (a Cooler Master subsidiary) had breached Asetek's patents and awarding damages amounting to 14.5% of royalty sales. Additionally a permanent injunction was issued against Cooler Master from importing and selling the infringing products in the US. Now it appears that the injunction will cause some collateral damage affecting both AMD's flagship Radeon R9 Fury X and GIGABYTE's GTX 980 WATERFORCE graphics card range.

In a statement to GamersNexus Asetek claimed that they recently wrote Cease and Desist letters to GIGABYTE regarding sale of the GTX 980 Waterforce, which is equipped with Cooler Master's Seidon 120M Closed Loop Cooler, and are seeking to clarify the parts used in the GTX 980 Ti Waterforce. A similar letter was also sent to AMD demanding that the R9 Fury X be taken off sale, although the specific infringing cooler design is not stated. This prohibition should only apply to imports into the US and not directly affect other regions.

Given how litigious Asetek have been in the past, and more importantly how successful they have been in defending their patents, it would be foolish to dismiss these statements out of hand. Furthermore the murky world of US patent law make it difficult to assess either party's level of liability in selling products assembled with parts bought in good faith, which is perhaps why Asetek have waited until now to make this move public.

The following CM designs were ruled as infringing Asetek's Nos. 8,240,362 and/or 8,245,764 patents:

Seidon 120V
Seidon 120V Plus
Seidon 120M
Seidon 120XL
Nepton 140XL
Seidon 240M
Glacer 240L
Nepton 280L

You can find Asetek's full statement and additional analysis at GamersNexus.

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