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CoolIT sues Asetek over split-flow patent

CoolIT sues Asetek over split-flow patent

CoolIT has been granted a new patent on split-flow heat exchangers, and has immediately gone on the offensive with an infringement suit against rival Asetek.

Sealed-loop cooling maker CoolIT has filed suit against rival Asetek, accusing the latter of infringing a patent on split-flow fluid heat exchangers and in encouraging the same infringement in its licensees.

In court papers filed at the Delaware District Court - a common location for patent-related civil cases - CoolIT's attorney Steven Caponi has claimed that Asetek's Gen. IV and Gen. V cooling head designs, which are used in the company's own products and licensed to numerous other companies for rebranding, infringing a CoolIT patent entitled 'Fluid Heat Exchanger Configured To Provide A Split Flow'. Issued only yesterday, the patent covers technology the company claims to have developed in 2007 to improve cooling performance while reducing load on the system's pump.

'This is a key patent for the company that adds significantly to our IP portfolio, claimed CoolIT chief executive and chief technical officer Geoff Lyon when the patent was officially issued yesterday. 'The invention relates to a compact method of delivering coolant through an opening over a central section of micro-channels resulting in a superior level of performance. This patent strengthens CoolIT’s position with our proprietary technology giving us a tremendous advantage in the market.'

That advantage is being pressed home immediately, with the suit accusing Asetek's designs of wilful infringement. That's no flowery hyperbole, either: if the case is found in CoolIT's favour and wilful infringement proved, the company will have the right to demand triple damages from Asetek in addition to an injunction on sales of all products found to use the patented technology.

The filing comes just shy of two years after Asetek sued CoolIT over similar claims of patent infringements. At the time of writing, Asetek had not issued a statement regarding the case.

4 Comments

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Corky42 11th June 2014, 11:41 Quote
Don't they have patent pending in America ?
Zurechial 12th June 2014, 17:19 Quote
Quote:
The invention relates to a compact method of delivering coolant through an opening over a central section of micro-channels resulting in a superior level of performance.

There's more to it than that, right? Surely I'm missing something or the actual patent hones in on something more specific?

From that vague language it sounds like they're trying to claim patent rights on the basic functionality of every waterblock made in the last 10 years, since as far as I know almost all of them use micro-channels or pins to break up boundary layers..
Gareth Halfacree 12th June 2014, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
There's more to it than that, right? Surely I'm missing something or the actual patent hones in on something more specific?
You can peruse the full patent over on the USPTO site. Interestingly, it's a revision of an earlier application in which claims 1-48 inclusive were cancelled - so originally the patent was considerably broader than the granted version.

I got in touch with Asetek, and was told that as the case between the two companies was ongoing there'd be no comment on the matter. My take: CoolIT is using this new patent to convince Asetek to shut up about the patent it sued CoolIT over in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if the two companies agree to cross-license the respective patents in exchange for both cases being dropped and no damages.
Zurechial 12th June 2014, 18:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
You can peruse the full patent over on the USPTO site. Interestingly, it's a revision of an earlier application in which claims 1-48 inclusive were cancelled - so originally the patent was considerably broader than the granted version.

Thanks for the link! After skimming through it I still don't really see what elements of the patent are distinctly 'new' in light of the way that waterblocks have been made for years, except that the density of the channels seems higher than is typical - And the fact that it's part of block/pump combination unit.
Patent law is way outside of my area so maybe it is in fact novel enough to warrant a patent, but it just seems odd to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree

My take: CoolIT is using this new patent to convince Asetek to shut up about the patent it sued CoolIT over in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if the two companies agree to cross-license the respective patents in exchange for both cases being dropped and no damages.

That makes sense. The whole thing stinks though. It's not very far from the kind of bullshit going on in the smartphone litigation wars.
Next we'll see them suing each other for rounded corners on their radiators. :p
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