In December 2014, Asetek won a trial against Cooler Master over closed-loop coolers that infringe on Asetek's patents. In September of this year, the US District Court for the northern district of California issued a permanent injunction against Cooler Master's infringing products. Now, according to a report from GamersNexus, both AMD and Gigabyte have received cease-and-desist letters from Asetek regarding the liquid coolers they use on their graphics cards.
As we discovered in our review of the Radeon R9 Fury X, Cooler Master provides the cooler on AMD's top-dog video card. According to Asetek's statement to GamersNexus, Gigabyte's Waterforce GeForce GTX 980 uses a Cooler Master product, as well. Asetek alleges that the specific coolers used in these models infringe on its IP, and it wants both companies to stop shipping these video cards. Asetek is digging into other Gigabyte products like Waterforce GTX 980 Xtreme and Waterforce GTX 980 Ti to see whether they infringe, too.
So far, AMD and Gigabyte haven't responded publicly to these accusations. Many of the coolers impacted by the original injunction are still available on retailers' websites, though that may just be remaining stock being cleared out. The September ruling increased Asetek's royalties from the 14.5% originally granted at trial to more than 25%. We'll continue to watch this story as it progresses.