Asetek's Patent War Against Cooler Master Drags AMD’s Fury X And Gigabyte Into The Fray

With its Radeon Fury X, AMD delivers a card that offers top-rate performance along with cool temperatures even under immense stress. And in ideal scenarios, it's also pretty quiet. As we noted in our review though, some Fury X cards originally suffered from pump whine, and that was a problem that would plague AMD for the following months. We're at a point now where you can feel confident that a Fury X you purchase today isn't going to exhibit that issue, but that incident still managed to put a damper on AMD's otherwise impressive launch.

Well, just as things were beginning to smooth out, GamersNexus reports that another speed bump has come along, presenting itself in the form of cooler-maker Asetek.

AMD Radeon Fury X
AMD's Radeon Fury X

Asetek is a leading supplier of liquid-cooler designs, and chances are pretty good that you're using one of its designs if own an all-in-one model in your PC. Asetek's customers include Corsair, NZXT, Thermaltake, and EVGA.

Notably absent from that list of licensees are GIGABYTE, AMD, and Cooler Master, and not-so-coincidentally, all three have faced legal action from Asetek.

In 2013, a Swiftech all-in-one cooler was the target of an Asetek lawsuit, and the company quickly settled the issue and ceased sales. Later, Cooler Master would inherit the design, at which point Asetek won a case against the company which ultimately resulted in it having to pay 14.5% royalties on each one of its offending products sold in the US. Asetek now says that Cooler Master is not complying, and as such should have to pay double the royalties.

Cooler Master Seidon
An offending Cooler Master Seidon Liquid-cooler

Where AMD and its Fury X card fall into this is that the card's liquid-cooled capabilities are made possible with a Cooler Master liquid-cooler, one that still infringes on Asetek's patents. The company now insists that AMD ceases all sales of its Fury X, a rather grand request given AMD itself never set out to infringe upon Asetek's patents.

GIGABYTE is also facing cease and desist letters from Asetek, targeting select Water Force graphics cards. Now, we just have to sit back and wait and see how both companies respond.