AMD targeted by Arctic over Fusion brand

January 23, 2012 // 9:36 a.m.

Tags: #amd #amd-fusion #arctic #arctic-fusion #fsa #fusion #fusion-systems-architecture #heterogeneous-systems-architecture #hsa #trademark

AMD's seemingly inexplicable decision to drop its Fusion branding in favour of the tongue-twisting Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) nomenclature may have just been explained, thanks to a lawsuit from Swiss component maker Arctic.

First spotted by the guys over at the German tech site Heise, Arctic's lawsuit claims that AMD is infringing on its trademark rights by using the word 'Fusion,' despite the latter not actually using the term in any direct product naming conventions.

According to Arctic, it was first to use the name 'Fusion' in relation to computing products, using the term as the name of a range of power supply products since 2006. While the company had initially approached AMD's German branch in an attempt to find an amicable solution - which is to say, in an attempt to get the company to hand over some cash in licensing fees - talks broke down, with AMD seeking legal representation.

While the company has since agreed to settle with Arctic over the matter - and has, as previously mentioned, dropped the word 'Fusion' in favour of 'Heterogeneous Systems Architecture' - Arctic claims that the licensing fees offered by AMD don't even cover the legal costs it has incurred in bringing the matter to the company's attention.

As a result, Arctic is bringing out the big guns: in a letter sent to eighteen major distributors across Germany, France and Austria, Arctic is calling for the immediate cessation of sales of all AMD APU-based products until the company agrees to pay a decent wedge in licensing money.

Covering desktops, laptops and motherboards, Arctic's letter names pretty much the entire AMD Fusion - sorry, AMD HSA - product line: all the A4, A6 and A8 processors and the C- and E-series low-power chips are included, along with the A50M, A60M, A70M, A55T, A68M, A45, A55, A75, A55e and A85x motherboard chipsets.

Arctic, for its part, claims it is merely trying to protect its brand from dilution through AMD's efforts. With AMD voluntarily ditching the Fusion branding, however, it's hard to see Arctic's side of the argument.

AMD has yet to comment on the case.

Are you on Arctic's side, or just pleased to finally find a real reason for AMD's dropping of the Fusion brand? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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