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AMD targeted by Arctic over Fusion brand

AMD targeted by Arctic over Fusion brand

Arctic is looking to block sales of AMD Fusion products, claiming trademark infringement of its own Fusion-branded PSUs.

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.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Cerberus90 23rd January 2012, 10:50 Quote
This really is starting to get out of hand.

If Arctic were making CPUs, then I could possibly understand it.
GuilleAcoustic 23rd January 2012, 10:55 Quote
Unless you name you products like this "a5E-893myY@D-v1.0", you'll always endup with a name already given. This is really disappointing, ridiculous and immature.

People are starving, others do not have home or water to drink, children got killed ... and they are fighting for a name ? I'm getting sick of all those useless business wars (Apple/Samsung, AMD/Arctic, etc..).

EDIT : Doesn't ANtec have an HTPC case named Fusion ? Hasn't VMware got a product named Fusion ? Isn't Ford selling a car named Fusion ? etc, etc, etc ...
warejon9 23rd January 2012, 10:57 Quote
Could be interesting, as like the article pointed out, AMD don't actually use the name Fusion as a noun, they use it as a verb, and they don't actually call any of their products fusion.
Snips 23rd January 2012, 10:58 Quote
After taking legal advice AMD decide to ditch the whole naming brand? Arctic clearly have something here therefore, AMD need to pay up for use of the brand name while it used it.
GuilleAcoustic 23rd January 2012, 11:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
After taking legal advice AMD decide to ditch the whole naming brand? Arctic clearly have something here therefore, AMD need to pay up for use of the brand name while it used it.

There's already a LOT of product name fusion out here : Ford Fusion, VMware Fusion, Antec Fusion, etc..... They should care about important things or maybe this is an easy way to make money
damien c 23rd January 2012, 11:02 Quote
Just seem's to me that every company is following Apple's trend of sueing anyone who they can.

I mean what's next are they going to take Gillette to court over the fact they use the word Fusion in there naming of a product they sell.

I am all for people getting what they deserve but sometimes it just goes to far and is to petty.
liratheal 23rd January 2012, 11:14 Quote
Nice to see another company beating the deflated cashcow with the litigation stick. I'm sure that ultimately pointless lawsuit will save the world from economic disaster.
GuilleAcoustic 23rd January 2012, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Nice to see another company beating the deflated cashcow with the litigation stick. I'm sure that ultimately pointless lawsuit will save the world from economic disaster.

Right mate :).If they have money to waste in childish law suites, they could give it to the red cross, build schools or hospital with it. Damn sharks ! (sorry but that's making me sick, sometimes I'm ashamed to be a human being)
Cerberus90 23rd January 2012, 11:26 Quote
I would have thought they'd be better off going after Antec, as don't Arctic make cases too. They'd have slightly more of a point then.
Bakes 23rd January 2012, 11:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
Just seem's to me that every company is following Apple's trend of sueing anyone who they can.

I mean what's next are they going to take Gillette to court over the fact they use the word Fusion in there naming of a product they sell.

I am all for people getting what they deserve but sometimes it just goes to far and is to petty.

Especially since it's Gillette Fusion Power.
damien c 23rd January 2012, 11:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
Just seem's to me that every company is following Apple's trend of sueing anyone who they can.

I mean what's next are they going to take Gillette to court over the fact they use the word Fusion in there naming of a product they sell.

I am all for people getting what they deserve but sometimes it just goes to far and is to petty.

Especially since it's Gillette Fusion Power.

It will be in the news next weel lol

Artic Cooling sueing Gillette over the name of a product's.

I just wish that when these big companies do this type of thing that the judge or who ever say's well as you don't exactly need the money, you are to give 50% of the awarded fund's to a charity.

I mean Help For Heroes need's all the money they can get.
Blackshark 23rd January 2012, 12:06 Quote
It is always gratifying to hear in a world where peoples jobs are disappearing, wages crashing, homes closing, that the lawyers can make a big fat wad of cash for themselves making up this drivel.
Snips 23rd January 2012, 12:44 Quote
When the lawyers take this massive decision off the marketing brand department within AMD, you have to understand there must be something in it. It's clearly better for AMD to use the Fusion brand name but to have to stop and rebrand everything costs huge amounts of money. So the bean counters have decided that it's cheaper to rebrand and pay up to date than keep Fusion and pay royalties.

Shouldn't the lawyers have been consulted before the Fusion brand launch? I'm sure there are brand protection lawyers out there who sniff these things out.
lysaer 23rd January 2012, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Right mate :).If they have money to waste in childish law suites, they could give it to the red cross, build schools or hospital with it. Damn sharks ! (sorry but that's making me sick, sometimes I'm ashamed to be a human being)

I am sure they already give a lot of money to charity for tax breaks.

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio Z715e using Tapatalk
damien c 23rd January 2012, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Shouldn't the lawyers have been consulted before the Fusion brand launch? I'm sure there are brand protection lawyers out there who sniff these things out.

You would have thought that they would have looked in to it before releasing it wouldn't you?

Or is that just us regular folk thinking reasonably unlike these people who seem to think let's see if we can get away with it or not.
sinner666999 23rd January 2012, 13:46 Quote
Rediculous! I hope Artic gets the book thrown at them for wasting a courts time.
Landy_Ed 23rd January 2012, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Unless you name you products like this "a5E-893myY@D-v1.0", you'll always endup with a name already given. This is really disappointing, ridiculous and immature.

People are starving, others do not have home or water to drink, children got killed ... and they are fighting for a name ? I'm getting sick of all those useless business wars (Apple/Samsung, AMD/Arctic, etc..).

EDIT : Doesn't ANtec have an HTPC case named Fusion ? Hasn't VMware got a product named Fusion ? Isn't Ford selling a car named Fusion ? etc, etc, etc ...

My thoughts exactly. The Antec didn't immediately spring to mind, but I used to have one (fine case too!). Maybe AMD should instead go talk to them about pursuing legislation to cover for context in naming being wholly relevant. I can't imagine a scenario where someone wanting to buy a PSU might mistake it for a CPU product. Or a Car. Or a Leisure management company. Or a nuclear bomb. Or...ironically enough, a branding company. If it were a direct & verbatim product identifier they might have some sort of case & despite the fact that AMD themselves have been questionably guilty of rather more targetted copyright theft, I'm on their side with this one.

But now of course AMD run the risk of being sued by the Financial Services Authority......god forbid anyone mail orders a new FSA processor & gets sent a PPI claim form instead! :(

Oops, my bad- HSA, not FSA, Humane Slaughter Association...order a CPU and get bits of dead animal....
SexyHyde 23rd January 2012, 13:55 Quote
Imho arctic needs to sit on the naughty step. Their psus don't appear to have any 'fusion' about them. Also if you google 'arctic fusion' the first arctic related site is a review and comes after a dog breeding site and even a news article on this lawsuit. if you genuinely have a claim which is genuinely impacting your business then I'm all for royalties being paid and lawsuits filed. But this is a just not called for. This could have a negative impact on arctic though as I have considered blacklisting them for their childish antics, and I wonder how many people will do the same. Shame as I like their products, but they arnt significantly cheaper or better than the competition, so switching to an alternative product will be easy.
Jqim 23rd January 2012, 14:24 Quote
Petty problems
Instagib 23rd January 2012, 14:52 Quote
Just stupid. I hope artic get hit for a massive set of legal bils when this petty issue get chucked out if court. If i was ford i'd be getting hold of copies of all the filed suits and start crossing out Artic to pencil in Ford and crossing out AMD to pencil in Artic before filing them all in to the same court.
Bungletron 23rd January 2012, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
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

Excellent paraphrasing ;)

This HSA thing makes a little more sense now, but surely this just opens up AMD to a claim from an annoyingly memorable health insurance company:

http://tvs-worst-adverts.co.uk/hsa-hey-just-say/
Jim 23rd January 2012, 15:49 Quote
Previously, I'd always thought that fusion was a word. Thankfully, I now know better.
Bazz 23rd January 2012, 16:19 Quote
Total tosh, bunch of idiots, etc etc etc

I work in Fusion Research, fusion is a scientific word from Latin which is near 500 years old, no one should lay claim to a word, as a concept totally different, but as AMD make a system they called fusion, they should be able to use it.

TBH there are way too many companies seeking damages from others on the basis that the name they use is theirs alone, not the technology they invent.

From now on, I will patent ANY word I feel like, then when its been used for a few years I'll cash in on it well if they can, why can't I?
Anfield 23rd January 2012, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Shouldn't the lawyers have been consulted before the Fusion brand launch? I'm sure there are brand protection lawyers out there who sniff these things out.

Ask 3 lawyers for their opinion and you get at least 4 different answers.

In other words:

If common words like Windows, Fusion, Apple and so on can be protected or not is debatable, at least according to some Lawyers.
Farfalho 23rd January 2012, 20:28 Quote
Soooo, 2012, patent trolling still rolling... I guess the world is safe...
What given right has Arctic to stop sales of a product which doesn't belong to them and won't carry the Fusion name. I would like to see Physics tell Arctic to shove it because they were the ones to study and create fusions in lab. Or the Earth itself, the fusion of rock into lava! Ha!
GaMEChld 23rd January 2012, 21:46 Quote
I will sue everyone on behalf of Mark Oliphant; first to fuse hydrogen!
Bazz 24th January 2012, 08:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaMEChld
I will sue everyone on behalf of Mark Oliphant; first to fuse hydrogen!

Think you'll find that the Sun has been doing this for many years before anyone else, so maybe the Sun should be suing everyone?
Aragon Speed 24th January 2012, 09:15 Quote
Hmm, perhaps a nuclear power company should sue Arctic over using 'Fusion' as a name. As their product is clearly not causing a nuclear reaction, surly this comes under the trade description act or false advertising?
GuilleAcoustic 24th January 2012, 09:33 Quote
maybe I should patent all numbers, letters or. basic shapes :D. They should focus on making good product instead of wasting their money in futile procedures. AMD is not even competing in the same kind of product.
PingCrosby 24th January 2012, 10:38 Quote
What a load of conFusion......oh no....I'm gonna get sued
Waynio 24th January 2012, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
maybe I should patent all numbers, letters or. basic shapes :D. They should focus on making good product instead of wasting their money in futile procedures. AMD is not even competing in the same kind of product.

I know WTF is the world coming to, truly pathetic stuff.

Is nit picking over simple names the sign of tech not evolving much or just 1 company failing to produce awesome products everyone wants who it's relevant to so they go this way to make up for lost cash? or in Apples case just straight up greedy gits.

It must be hard for new awesome innovative people with awesome ideas & know how to realise the ideas & then get shot down by a lame company over a stupid word, wow how crap is that & it will surely hold back innovations because of people with mediocre ideas but scheming minds.
Snips 24th January 2012, 11:47 Quote
I know it could be said I'm going off topic for the lawyer stuff but if they had sought legal advice before launching the Fusion branding then any subsequent legal action would then be passed on to the lawyer whose advice was given at the beginning. This way it would probably cost AMD a lot less or nothing anyway since the lawyers PI cover would pay out. With nothing being said of this and AMD changing its branding to a health protection name instead? (HSA) it could be assumed they now have advice telling them to pay up and move along. A hell of a way to waste money which AMD don't really have to waste at the moment. Who predicts job losses in the coming quarter at AMD? (Especially from the legal department)
Bakes 24th January 2012, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I know it could be said I'm going off topic for the lawyer stuff but if they had sought legal advice before launching the Fusion branding then any subsequent legal action would then be passed on to the lawyer whose advice was given at the beginning. This way it would probably cost AMD a lot less or nothing anyway since the lawyers PI cover would pay out. With nothing being said of this and AMD changing its branding to a health protection name instead? (HSA) it could be assumed they now have advice telling them to pay up and move along. A hell of a way to waste money which AMD don't really have to waste at the moment. Who predicts job losses in the coming quarter at AMD? (Especially from the legal department)

I'm not sure what the rules are for large corporations, but it's almost certain that they used their own legal team for the advice.
Waynio 24th January 2012, 12:40 Quote
If it's a unique made up word for a brand then I could understand it but a word out of a dictionary is utterly stupid & no one should have exclusive rights where they can sue over regular words, completely crazy :?.
DXR_13KE 24th January 2012, 16:11 Quote
Waynio 24th January 2012, 16:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Seriously?!?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion

Exactly .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
completely crazy :?.
Bazz 24th January 2012, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aragon Speed
Hmm, perhaps a nuclear power company should sue Arctic over using 'Fusion' as a name. As their product is clearly not causing a nuclear reaction, surly this comes under the trade description act or false advertising?

There are no fusion power companies at present, its still at the R&D stage.
(Fusion is different to Fission)
Ayrto 25th January 2012, 03:04 Quote
Seems mad. But just look at 'Windows'. Though unless some company is directly competing in the same market with a similar product, trademarking widely used nouns shouldn't be a problem. Afaik Arctic doesn't plan on releasing a CPU anytime soon.
Adnoctum 25th January 2012, 08:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I know it could be said I'm going off topic for the lawyer stuff but if they had sought legal advice....

This is your third attempt to throw out the old "No smoke without fire" troll against AMD in this thread alone. Can you give the AMD bashing a rest for a few days?
IanW 25th January 2012, 08:55 Quote
Reminds me of the time Paramount Pictures tried to trademark the name "USS Enterprise".
The US Navy had words with them.
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