Asetek has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against CoolIt, which should have some interesting implications for the liquid cooling technology field.
The timing of the lawsuit indicates that Asetek has been waiting for the approval of this patent and there may not have been much discussion between the two parties as far as the validity of the patent and potential licensing fees are concerned. The granted patent appears to be covering the general design principle of a mainstream liquid cooling system in use today, with the main claim containing 15 individual claims:
- an integrated element including a heat exchanging interface
- a reservoir
- a pump, wherein the reservoir is configured to receive a cooling liquid from outside the reservoir through an inlet and pass the cooling liquid to the outside through an outlet
- the reservoir including an upper chamber and a lower chamber
- the upper chamber and the lower chamber being vertically displaced chambers that are separated from each other by at least a horizontal wall and fluidly coupled together by a plurality of substantially circular passages
- at least one of the plurality of substantially circular passages being positioned on the horizontal wall
- a boundary wall of the lower chamber being formed by the heat exchanging interface
- the heat exchanging interface is adapted to provide separable thermal contact between the processing unit and the cooling liquid such that heat is dissipated from the processing unit to the cooling liquid as the cooling liquid passes through the lower chamber of the reservoir
- the pump is adapted to direct the cooling liquid through the upper chamber and the lower chamber of the reservoir
- the pump including a motor having a rotor, a stator and an impeller having a plurality of curved blades
- the impeller being positioned within the reservoir
- a heat radiator spaced apart from the integrated element
- the heat radiator being fluidly coupled to the outlet and the inlet of the reservoir
- the heat radiator being configured to circulate the cooling liquid therethrough and exhaust heat from the cooling liquid
- a fan configured to direct air through the heat radiator, the fan being driven by a motor separate from the motor of the pump."
According to the patent, "it may be one object of the invention to provide a small and compact liquid-cooling solution, which is more efficient than existing air-cooling arrangements and which can be produced at a low cost enabling high production volumes. It may be another object to create a liquid-cooling arrangement, which is easy-to-use and implement, and which requires a low level of maintenance or no maintenance at all. It may be still another object of the present invention to create a liquid-cooling arrangement, which can be used with existing CPU types, and which can be used in existing computer systems."
Asetek recently stated that it has sold more than one million liquid cooling devices since the company's launch in 2006. The company recently added a "patented" logo to some of its liquid cooling solutions on its website and announced that " it has entered into a licensing agreement with a leading global marketer of integrated liquid cooling products that will enable the licensee to market both Asetek manufactured product and product utilizing Asetek Intellectual Property manufactured by certain other suppliers."
CoolIt did not comment on the lawsuit.