One of the more bizarre stories to come out of Computex in June was a series of allegations leveled against Taiwanese cooling specialists Thermaltake by American chassis manufacturer CaseLabs. Citing similarities between their Merlin SM8 and TH10 high-end case designs and a newly revealed chassis by competitor Thermaltake (photographed at a Computex side-event), CaseLabs claimed that the case was a copycat design and presented circumstantial evidence to back up their theory.
These claims naturally put a spotlight on Thermaltake, with discussions cropping up regarding the Suppressor S51's similarity to Fractal Designs' Define series, and other miscellaneous cooling hardware. We're not in a position to comment directly but the outcry on enthusiast forums and social media was loud and sustained; Thermaltake, on the other hand, were silent on the matter.
Out of the blue today however comes a letter from CaseLabs walking back their original position, retracting claims made against Thermaltake regarding their designs, and admitting to misleading statements that they 'owned patents which they couldn't enforce due to prohibitive expense'. A second letter, addressed to Legit Reviews representative Nathan Kirsch, requests that the verbatim reposting of their initial allegations be removed to prevent further harm. Note that this letter and follow-up statements have been circulated by Thermaltake, and haven't been repeated on the CaseLabs company Blog or Facebook page.
It's not clear if this will spell an end to allegations made against Thermaltake; it seems inevitable that their products will, for the foreseeable future, be judged as much on how outwardly similar they are to competing designs as much as features and price. On the other hand it now means that both companies can step out of the spotlight and get back to making solid consumer-orientated products.
CaseLabs' letter is reproduced below: