Asetek – supplier of PC cooling hardware – has recently issued a cease and desist order to both AMD over the R9 Fury X. The reason for the demands of suspension by Asetek was due to alleged patent infringements of a CLC -Closed Loop Liquid Cooling system – that is currently being adopted by AMD inside the Fury X. Interestingly, Asetek recently won a long legal battle with Cooler Master, supplier for Fury X’s cooling solution, and has already pursued legal actions against CoolIT and AVC over the same issue.
In an interview with Gamer Nexus, Asetek mentioned that its attorneys have sent a cease and desist letter to AMD which demands AMD stop producing its R9 Fury X due to alleged patent infringement. However, AMD did not specifically use an Asetek product in the Fury X, instead, it uses a CLC by Cooler Master which was successfully claimed by Asetek recently over a patent infringement.
What makes this even more interesting is that earlier reports by WCCFtech suggested that the Fury X was indeed tested with an Asetek CLC before it was replaced with a Cooler Master CLC during its debut. AMD isn’t the only company that is being spared from Asetek’s mercy, Gigabyte has also received a cease and desist letter making the same demands.
Asetek has also demanded that Gigabyte halt its sales for the Gigabyte GTX 980 Waterforce with the model number, GV-N980WAOC-4GD. Asetek claims that the water cooled graphics card contains the Seidon 120M which is allegedly a part of Asetek’s patents. In addition, Asetek said that it is currently in the process of reviewing Gigabyte’s GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming for patent infringement as well.
If Asetek claims were to be successful, both AMD and Gigabyte will be facing a hefty amount of compensation and royalty payments to Asetek. Previously, with the Cooler Master case, Asetek managed to secure 14.5% royalty on the patent infringed CLC. The royalty rate was further increased to 25.38% on appeal earlier this year. With the overwhelming response in sales for the Fury X, such a heavy fine would cause serious problems for AMD and may even put them under a lot of financial stress.
Asetek went on to say that it had never established a licensing agreement with Cooler Master and doesn’t intend to offer one in the future either. However, one might speculate Asetek’s move to demand a halt in production of both the graphics cards as a way for it to offer in-house production of the CLC for both graphics card instead of Cooler Master.
Update: AMD says that it is aware of the situation between Cooler Master and Asetek. However, AMD mentioned that the jury in the Asetek v. Cooler Master case did not specifically mention that the Fury X was infringing any of Asetek’s patents. As for now, AMD will look to privately discuss the issue with Asetek.