Asetek gets liquid cooling patents, sues CoolIT

Patent infringement lawsuits aren’t just for smartphones. Water-cooler maker Asetek is suing rival firm CoolIT Systems according to this report over at VR-Zone. Turns out Asetek has been granted three US patents related to "integrated loop liquid cooling." In a well-timed press release, the company says it’s going to "evaluate each imitator on a case-by-case basis within the context of the greater liquid cooling market," and possibly "grant licenses or pursue other courses of action to protect and monetize its intellectual property." Looks like Asetek chose the latter with CoolIT.

Asetek Founder and CEO André Sloth Eriksen says some of the patents date back to 2003, which indeed matches references in the three patent documents bearing his name. Two of the patents were granted this month, and the associated diagrams are rather more specific than rounded rectangles.

Although it doesn’t mention the firm by name, Asetek says it’s inked a licensing agreement with "a leading global marketer of integrated liquid cooling products." That company will not only market Asetek’s products, but also build some of its own using the same technology.

Liquid cooling used to be restricted to only those brave enough to do their own plumbing. In recent years, all-in-one systems have made liquid coolers no more difficult to install than standard heatsinks. These closed-loop coolers have become quite popular as a result, especially since some variants are now competitive on price with premium air coolers. It will be interesting to see whether Asetek’s suit has merit—and which of the big names in water cooling has signed on to use its IP.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    And so… a patent troll is born.

    • rrr
    • 7 years ago

    Yay for jacking up prices and slowing down technological progress in the name of one company filling their own pockets.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Two of the patents were granted this month, and the associated diagrams are rather more specific than rounded rectangles.[/quote<] We skipped over those diagrams because we felt it was holding us up....

    • clone
    • 7 years ago

    they are patenting water cooling now…. guess I’d best be prepared for the cease and desist letter on my car until I negotiate a licensing agreement with Asetek.

    WAFJ.

    ID creates a new bit of software to enhance sound in Doom 3, Creative audio figures out what ID did then patents it and sues ID…. successfully forcing them to negotiate for the right to use the software they designed.

    WAFJ!!!!!

      • Coyote_ar
      • 7 years ago

      You didnt even read the patent …

      Asetek was indeed among the first, if not the first company who integrated the pump with the waterblock. That “minor” detail, changed completely the format of the closed loop systems completely.

      They do have the right to patent that idea if they were the first to do it.

        • clone
        • 7 years ago

        your explanation highlights how stupid the patent is, to be clear they didn’t invent from scratch any component in the assembly, they used existing components and principals to develop the product, it’s not like the patents that FORD motor company tried to steal for intermittent Windshield Wipers where the technology was actually never done before, it’s not like they invented the first rocket, all they did was mix and match existing components and patented other ppl’s work.

        unless of course you are proposing they did something more than just moving the position of the water pump in a CLCS…. BFD and WAFJ.

        it’s a bad patent that should never have gone through.

        feel free to disagree.

          • Coyote_ar
          • 7 years ago

          They did invent a component actually, its the waterblock with integrated pump. the key component that makes this kind of system possible.
          without that part, you have a regular liquid cooling system, which is completely different and not what they patented.

          you dont need to invent something completely new to deserve a patent, just do something in a new way.

          show me other ppls work that used an integrated pump into a block prior to asetek/coolit/etc.
          there was no DIYer who made such a design, due to several reasons, but mostly because its not as good as using an external pump, performance and cost wise. and those are usually what motivated the DIY comunity back then.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            it’s a dangerous patent offering nothing new to the fundamentals while enabling said company to extort from others.

            they integrated the pump to another solid component in the system, by allowing it to be patented the PTO has cause more harm than good and is stifling innovation.

            it’s unfortunate.

    • internetsandman
    • 7 years ago

    I read the headline….and facepalmed. I’m just glad that it’s not BS lawsuits over the shape of something or a gesture for something, these are legitimate hardware devices composed of multiple parts designed and manufactured a specific way, so patent trolling is much harder, and the resulting courtroom time much better (if still not really necessary or ideal) used than anything the smartphone market has given us

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Ideas dating as far back as 2003? How come only now they got patents?

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      The amount of duct tape you’d need to fix the patent system would cover this entire planet twice over

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah but you’d get sued for implementing that as I’m sure one of the 600 thousand unread patents has that device listed.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    From [url<]http://www.coolitsystems.com/[/url<] [quote<] CoolIT Systems holds over 40 patents related to thermoelectrics, cold plates, heat sinks, thermosyphons, pumps, control systems, manufacturing techniques and system level thermal solutions. [/quote<] On [url<]http://www.asetek.com/[/url<] , they advertise every product as "patented" or "patent pending" I think both companies saw this coming.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    zalman, thermaltake, corsair, antec and even Intel have similar cooling systems. i’d love to see them up against intel. it would at the least be entertaininng.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Do you have a Dell desktop or Apple laptop? Sure you do, they screwed it together and threw gobs of money marketing it to you. But in reality, it’s probably a mix between some chips from Samsung/Micron/AMD/Intel/Marvell (all made at various fabs) and countless others we’ve never heard of and might not be able to pronounce, some LCD from Korea or Japan, an Antec PSU that’s not even made by Antec, maybe an Asus or Foxconn motherboard, some overseas labor, and a few other things.

      It’s not just you, there’s clearly a misconception that the manufacturer of a device is the same thing as the brand name.

      FYI Zalman, Thermaltake, Corsair, and Antec (EDIT and Intel) are ALL branded Asetek coolers with different fans. CoolIT does some Corsair, not sure what other major brand names they do.

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        Many people who use computers think that the brand that assembles them also make all the parts inside. It’s quite common really.

        All of my coworkers use computers both at home and at the office and they think the same way. The only people arround here that know the truth is me, another coleague who is an enthusiast and the IT guy…….

      • kilkennycat
      • 7 years ago

      I have Intel’s liquid cooler in a Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E / X79 rig o/c to 4.3Ghz. Max core temp 78 degrees C w/IntelBurn @ 150watts total CPU power. Cooler works like a champ and is dead silent. Oh, I forgot… It is manufactured for Intel by…..Asetek….

      • sli
      • 7 years ago

      Corsair used to use Asetek now they use CoolIT to manufacture their self contained water cooling systems. The same goes for the other names you have mentioned.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      Go back to selling shoes.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Lake Side Mall?

      • spuppy
      • 7 years ago

      Most of those are relabeled Asetek coolers. Intel and AMD are for 100% sure

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    The us patent office is sitting on 1.2 million pending patent, over 600 thousand have never been looked at yet…

    I wonder if asetek ever contacted coolit to have them license their cooler, and coolit refused.
    If not, thats kind of a despicable move from asetek.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      These suits often result in licensing agreements…it just takes the extra persuasion of a lawsuit to push things in that direction.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      1.2 million pending patents?
      Why even bother with a patent system if there’s that much backlog? It’s completely useless.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        $$$ = Move your place in line

      • BKA
      • 7 years ago

      We’re working on it! We just opened the first satellite office in downtown Detroit. New locations coming to Denver, Dallas and Sillicon Valley in the next 2 years. Should speed up patent applications over time.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        As more lawsuits are successful… I’m sure you’ll start seeing more patents coming through…

        • TDIdriver
        • 7 years ago

        “We’re working on it” and “opened…in downtown [i<]Detroit[/i<]" don't really fit together well.

          • jss21382
          • 7 years ago

          …Downtown Detroit isn’t a bad place, several high profile companies have moved there recently.

    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Patent infringement lawsuits aren't just for smartphones.[/quote<] [quote<]the associated diagrams are rather more specific than rounded rectangles.[/quote<] Love the Apple references. Looking at the diagram, I have no idea what they are trying to say, or the thought gone into it, but at least its not another bogus, extremely general and no brainer software patent. Really, I don't get the integrated liquid cooling hype, its unnecessarily complex, you can get more surface area with a large air cooler, heatpipes make large areas and/or shape a non issue, and there isn't the risk of a leak. Large air coolers look cooler and are quieter than integrated water cooling.

      • Coyote_ar
      • 7 years ago

      cause only desktop computers need cooling, right?

      [url<]http://www.legitreviews.com/images/news/2012/asetek-1u-water.jpg[/url<] yep, you are right, lots of space in there for huge heatpipe coolers.

        • xeridea
        • 7 years ago

        There is plenty of room for a ton of heatsinks, and servers tend to have a lot of air moving through them so you don’t need many fans inside. Water cooling inside the server is just silly. If you were going to water cool server, it would be better done outside.

          • Coyote_ar
          • 7 years ago

          Plenty of room?? that system i linked its a 1U server, thats 1.75″ thick. thats about a DIMM tall. servers dont have a lot of air moving through them, actually the have so little free space in them, that they need really powerfull and high rpm fans to be able to move a barely decent amount of air through them. why do you think data centers run at such low ambient temp?? its so they manage to keep the operational temperature within normal ranges. thermal density is one of the biggest challenges of any datacenter.

          outside from where? space is a premium in any datacenter, plus if you have an external component, that would imply that in order to remove a unit, you would need to open the circuit. which is extremely complex and risky in a production enviroment.

          actually Asetek does have a rack designed to have part of the cooling system outside, but its very complex and still uses the integrated pump+block design. not exactly like putting the pump and radiator on the back of your case …
          [url<]http://www.asetek.com/images/stories/landingpages/Markets/Server/Rack-CDU/rackcdu_graphic_white.jpg[/url<]

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 7 years ago

    Oy, they require quicktime to view the images! I am hoping the system description is more detailed than “integrated loop liquid cooling” as they have been using similar technology to cool lots of things, like engines and such. Wouldn’t a refrigerator satisfy that description? Honestly, this stuff of patents for methods is rife for litigation when one puts blinders on for common sense and influences exterior to the particular industry.

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Is it because USPTO is a subsidiary of the Quicktime maker?

        • Xylker
        • 7 years ago

        I LOL’d

    • I.S.T.
    • 7 years ago

    Seems like a fairly legitimate case then. I wonder if this will turn into another Rambus debacle where everybody was eventually exposed as stealing from everybody…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      It’s nothing like Rambus. There is no standards body for liquid cooling.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        I think IST was referring to the patent being generalized to all liquid cooling and then Asetek gets a chunk of money from everyone… which appears to be what’s going to happen. Makes you wonder why they waited this long to make claims…

        …or does it?

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          You had me at “…or does it?”

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          There was liquid cooling before Asetek, and I don’t just mean consumer-level stuff although there was that too, so prior art would be easy to produce for ‘all liquid cooling.’

            • Coyote_ar
            • 7 years ago

            Dude, read the freaking patent, they did not patent liquid cooling. Why do you type before you read???

            The patent clearly states that its a compact integrated liquid cooling system what they patented. Its the integrated block+pump design.

            Those type of systems didnt exist before asetek corsair and a couple other companies started using them (and i guess those companies will be the ones fighting this battle).

            Compact closed loop systems were never part of the DIY enthusiast designs.

            The first company who came up with that design, has the right to patent it, it was a truly new design. It doesnt matter if liquid cooling existed already, its not liquid cooling they are patenting, but the arrengement of the components.

          • I.S.T.
          • 7 years ago

          Nah, what I was referring to was how many Lawsuits Rambus has won and lost. If you look at the facts closely, you’ll realize that in the memory industry everybody was stealing from everybody. dkanter’s posts on beyond3d’s forums illustrate this very well.

        • I.S.T.
        • 7 years ago

        Indeed, you have a point MadMan.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve never heard of Asetek before this… You really shouldn’t be able to enforce a patent unless you have a competing product. Patents should really only be good for a small window like 10 years without renewal so you can get your product up and running before anyone else to gain an advantage. After like 10 years or so it goes back to the communal pool of ideas.

    The world would really be a different place.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Sometimes…the end user will not be aware of who actually makes a product. Take cars for example. Your manufacturer might be Ford, but how many companies supply parts for that car? And even then, those suppliers might be getting components from yet another company.

      Should anyone be discredited because they aren’t visible to the general public?

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        No, they should be discredited if they don’t make the product. “I’ve never heard of Asetek” isn’t the same as “Asetek doesn’t make products.”. You can infer they don’t from what I said, but I said it in a way as they could make products, I just haven’t heard of them.

          • Washer
          • 7 years ago

          Your inability to say “Sorry I was wrong” will always amaze me.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            It’s entirely possible to have a company exist and never have heard of them. Unless you’re implying that I actually did know about them and instead chose to say I haven’t heard of them? That would make me wrong.

            If I said Asetek does not exist, that would also make me wrong.

            But I do applaud you for completely twisting this around and trolling me. Way to be a dick (this would be the second time you’ve done this too).

            • Washer
            • 7 years ago

            Your first two sentences would imply that because you’ve never heard of Asetek then they don’t ship a product and therefore should not be allowed to enforce their patent.

            And I continue to be amazed that despite the double digit negative votes you still feel you were not unclear in your point or just plain ignorant.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Yes for me, but not for the rest of the world. That’s why I worded it in such a way where my perception isn’t that of everyone else.

            I was clear in my point, but saying ‘I think’ or anything based off of my perception is not the same as ‘This is’.

            • Washer
            • 7 years ago

            Of course your point was clear. That’s why you have -20 votes. My bad.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            You’re amazed by that? Then be prepared to be shocked because i am NEVER wrong. But in extreme cases if you happen to be right and me wrong then the divinity will reject your reality and substitute it with my own. Chuck Norris once won an argument with me which made him cry a single cancer curing tear of joy. [spoiler<]i keed thee[/spoiler<]

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            So, Arclight = Bensam123?

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            Sigh, i was trying to appear far more malefic and close minded than him so equality was not what i was going for. Or do you mean we are the same person using 2 different accounts? In that case-no.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            It wouldn’t be the first time someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder posted on TR with separate accounts for each personality. Look for texmaster and Ric. He/they got banned for it, though.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            Either too many people do it or people got paranoic. I have been accused before of double accounts, last time someone said yoggibear and me are the same person. Anyhow i welcome any admin to check my IP or w/e needs to be checked.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]I've never heard of Asetek before this... You really shouldn't be able to enforce a patent unless you have a competing product.[/quote<]I know you may not have meant it, but that sounds like they shouldn't be able to enforce a patent because you have never heard of them. Again, maybe not what you meant, but it could easily be inferred. And I don't know the entire process, but I was trying to point out that Asetek [i<]could[/i<] be making [i<]part[/i<] of the end product. Just because what the customer gets doesn't say "Asetek" doesn't mean that they didn't have a hand in making the product. Heck, even if Corsair was the only one manufacturing units, Asetek could be providing the tooling.

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      Then you’ve never followed all-in-one cooling, if you have never heard of Asetek.

      • ALiLPinkMonster
      • 7 years ago

      They were a major player in liquid cooling for quite some time, and they still tend to team up with other companies to create integrated cooling solutions. PNY and Intel come to mind. They were behind those Intel branded SB-E coolers.

      • TravelMug
      • 7 years ago

      “I’ve never heard of Asetek before this…”

      Well, then you don’t really have a clue about this market. Asetek was the company who actually invented and followed through with the idea of supercooling in the consumer market place. Have a look at this:

      [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/4875[/url<]

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Neat, I forgot about that article.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      So just to surmise the negative votes… everyone is downvoting me for never having heard of Asetek. No one has problems with anything else I said?

        • cegras
        • 7 years ago

        Considering Corsair released the H50/70 based on Asetek, then the H60/80 based on Coolit, you are wrong.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          <reply fail>

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Wrong post sir.

        • albundy
        • 7 years ago

        nope, not at all. your post was in my way of reading other posts. and my mouse only is able to click the downvote button. must be a bug.

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        Nah, I think it’s for assuming they don’t have a competing product just because you haven’t heard of them.

        • gamoniac
        • 7 years ago

        I may not fully agree with you, but don’t see why you got voted down. You got +1 from me.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Everyone veto’d the rest of my post simply because I messed up the beginning. ~_~

          Interesting sort of bandwagoning. Als post and Cegs above don’t even respond to my post, they respond to the original issue. Bruce does, but doesn’t talk about anything other then the mess up at the beginning of it.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        No, I ONLY have problems with anything else you said.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        As far as I can tell, this comment is the main legitimate source of further downthumbs

        Although, I must say I’m a bit surprised by the volume of them

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<] Although, I must say I'm a bit surprised by the volume of them[/quote<] Do I detect a hint of jealousy there?

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            I think so. Tiffany and SSK try their best to achieve what I don’t want or strive for. XD

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah… I guess I have a bit of infammy following me. I say one thing thats off and the pack is on me like wild dogs! Once you get past -10 you’re in bandwagon territory though. So really there is a cap in downvotes.

          I mean look at my ‘neat’ post that got -5 for saying I forgot about a review TR did nine years ago.

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Patents already have a maximum lifetime, although 20 years not 10 years. After 20 years tops the patented invention can be used by anybody. Didn’t you know?

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        No I didn’t know…

        No patent lasts for 10 years, but 20 years is supposed to be the norm. You can get extensions for this as well and extensions for extensions. That’s why you have patents that last a ridiculously long time. When you start talking 30 years, the rest of the world has changed so much you effectively burdened society with your invention (as society has built around it but can’t build upon it).

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      That’s what happens in the medical drugs industry. The pioneer drug is allowed a patent for 20 years. Without expiration, we’d never have generic drugs and the cost of medicine would be prohibitively high for many middle-class folks, more so those at the lower echelons of society.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like Asetek has really lost its cool over this stuff.

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      Oh god, please don’t write inane crap to pander for thumb ups.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        You seem to be a little hot under the cooler about my comment.
        Who says I’m pandering for thumbs… up?

          • ShadowTiger
          • 7 years ago

          Woo negativity! -1 for everyone!

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            There’s probably a masters thesis in Sociology in understanding why all the previous posts got thumbed the way they did. I’d take the time to read it.

            • Diplomacy42
            • 7 years ago

            Its called “the pun also rises” written by John Pollack.

            the short version is that people become locked into the idea that language is goal oriented. People who play with their words are elevating language beyond tool status and this is a ‘dangerous’ idea, lest we might slide backwards in time from our roman-spartan society to a more Greek society. The Greeks were considered lazy by the Romans who believed that art had little or no value.

            Anyone who likes the pun though will enjoy the preface of the book, which cites a Harvard study that shows that punsters get more satisfactory reviews at work and mocks the groaners as being to ‘stupid’ to understand the joke or too rigid to allow themselves to enjoy it.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        Well, you just did.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      I lol’d

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      YYYYYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Coyote_ar
      • 7 years ago

      If pun intended, that was funny.

    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 7 years ago

    Actually this is what I think of when I think of patents.

    If it was was of those other patents of “process” the patent would read something like…
    “Take a liquid and move it across something warmer that is warmer than the liquid to disperse the heat from that something warmer thing.”

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      try patent relates to the process of cooling a component by use of a device or devices designed to move a liquid across said component to minimize the damage caused by heat.

      remember, the more pages there are, the less likely the guy at the patent office will actually read and understand the patent

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    Patent, copyright, and trademark reform in 2012…by 2016? I’ll support it whenever someone decides to take it up…

      • Turd-Monkey
      • 7 years ago

      1) This isn’t a software patent.
      2) It’s actually novel (especially in the context of 2003)

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        1) I was all inclusive because all of them are related.
        2) Does not eliminate the need for reform.

        Actually, since this was applied for in 2003, but didn’t get approval until recently, that still highlights the need for reform. It will sometimes take some time to grant a patent, but 9 years? That’s almost half the length of the patent term.

        So again…patent, copyright, and trademark reform.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        Please explain how liquid cooling is novel? Pretty sure they’ve been doing that since 1860 odd.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          This specific method is novel. The steam engine had patents too, yet you could argue that people “have been burning coal (or boiling water) for thousands of years”. It’s not only [i<]what[/i<] you do or achieve, but [i<]how[/i<] as well.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    ‘Sloth’…lol.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll bet it’s Corsair.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      That’s who I thought, too.

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