Asetek, a provider of energy efficient liquid cooling systems for data centers, servers, gaming, and high performance PCs was awarded over $400,000 for patent infringement of two patents held by the company. The company had filed a lawsuit through its patent attorneys against CMI USA Inc., formerly known as Cooler Master.

In its suit filed in January 2013, Asetek requested that CMI stop production and sale of its liquid cooling systems that included Seidon sealed loop liquid coolers 120M, 120XL, and 240M, which Asetek considered very similar in design to its own. The company accused CMI of infringing on its US Patent No 8,240,362 and its revised update Patent 8245764.

Asetek seeks injunction against CMI

A jury in the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Asetek after observing that CMI had infringed on Asetek’s patent No 8,240,362. The jury awarded Asetek a 14.5 percent royalty of $404,841 based on CMI’s sales since 2012. While the jury decided that CMI infringed on US Patent No 8,240,362 and its revised update Patent 8245764. After the trial, CMI stipulated to infringement of Patent No. 8245764. Asetek has sought an injunction against CMI through its patent lawyers. A trial judge is expected to schedule a hearing.

Asetek Founder and CEO André Sloth Eriksen said the company was pleased to be vindicated although spending time and resources in the courtroom was frustrating. He said the company didn’t mind competition but was not willing to accept any blatant copy of their patented solutions. Asetek has also filed a patent lawsuit against CoolIT in 2012 with reference to the same patents. The suit is yet to complete since CoolIT has filed a counter suit accusing Asetek of patent infringement granted to the company this year. They have also filed a suit against Asia Vital Components (AV) for infringement of the same patent.

Apple targeted by patent troll for visual voicemail infringement

In other patent news, Apple has once again been the target of a new patent lawsuit over iPhone Visual Voicemail by a patent troll by the name of Dynamic Hosting Company. The patent troll has claimed infringement of its patents 6,216,156 and 5,826,026, titled “Internet Message Communicator with Direct Output to a Hard Copy Device.”

The original owner of the two patents was Connect-One in 1995. Although Apple is said to have the distinction of featuring visual voicemail in the iPhone, the patent troll has claimed that the patents they acquired predate the iPhone’s version of visual voicemail.

Dynamic Hosting Company has argued that Apple is guilty of patent infringement and is also asking the court to triple the damages by claiming that Apple willfully infringed on its patents. The patent troll has also filed suits against other major companies that include Google, Epson, Samsun, Xerox, and Canon, to name a few.

Action against patent trolls

Patent trolls have cost tech companies as much as $29 billion in 2011. Last year, Apple remained the prime target of patent trolls in the first half and among the top three in the second half. The Innovation Act bill passed on December 5th, 2013 was designed to discourage frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The bill was supported by major companies like Google, Apple, Cisco, and IBM. The FTC is also examining the practices of patent trolls to further its mission to examine cutting-edge competition that can have an impact on the US economy.