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HP, Sapphire and Microloops sued over cooling tech

by Sylvie Barak on 17 November 2009, 11:52

Tags: Sapphire, Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ)

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Not cool to infringe our patents

Another day another lawsuit, and this time Hewlett-Packard, Sapphire and Microloops are all in the legal crosshairs, being taken to court by Virginia-based Convergence Technologies, which specialises in cooling systems.

Convergence, a branch of Hong Kong-based CT Electronics, says the three are guilty of infringing its vapour chamber cooling patent, number 7,422,053, despite the fact a similar lawsuit by Convergence against Microloops was thrown out of a Taiwanese court recently on the grounds the patents "lacked novelty and inventiveness."

But, refusing to take no for an answer, Convergence has taken its grievances to a US court, with the firm's founding president & CEO, Dr. Steven H. Lee, noting humbly "it is unfortunate that venture capital was scarce in Hong Kong, which gave other companies the opportunity to exploit our weakness, but we have the best vapor chamber technology in the world."

He went on to express his certainty that Convergence would have its day in court and "ensure this technology reaches the market place." Forgive our ignorance, but isn't the fact it's already in the marketplace the whole reason for the lawsuit?

Lee claimed many US companies weren't even aware of the fact they were using Microloops products, as these were generally shipped through various OEMs, ODMs and distributors.

That, however, won't stop Convergence from suing anyone it sees as stepping on its copyright toes, with Lee proclaiming that "although lawsuits are currently only being brought against these three companies, Convergence maintains the right to take legal actions against other end users at a later time."

He went on to say it was "therefore important for the market to note that authorised sellers will be published on our website and authorised products will be labelled with our logo and the aforementioned patent number." Infringe it at your peril.

Sapphire seems to be muddled up in the lawsuit because several of its card designs purportedly use the disputed cooling technology, as apparently do HP's blade servers. Convergence says its "unique" inventions include condensate flow requirement in vapour chambers and a Multiwick structure.

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