Many years ago Danish cooling firm Asetek was the first to deliver a sealed liquid cooling product. Before this innovation, liquid cooling was primarily enthusiast-oriented, it was more expensive and riskier due to possible coolant leakage. This changed with the arrival of sealed liquid coolers and as Asetek walked away from its VapoChill sub-zero cooled system, so did CoolIT practically dump its TEC-cooled (Peltier-based) heatsinks.
Both firms now compete in the same space, their products are used by firms like Antec, Corsair and ThermalTake, as well as PC builders like Alienware/Dell, HP and Acer. Trouble is brewing on the horizon though, Asetek applied for several international patents in 2006, followed with an application to the USPTO, and now that several of these were granted during August 2012, the company is going the legal route and suing CoolIT for patent infringement.
The company and its legal firm of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP moved to action and sued its largest competitor, Canadian firm CoolIT Systems. While the case is pending its initial hearing, we took a detailed look at the patents in question (8,240,362, 8,245,764). Based on the engineering drawings, the initial design and size stem from an Intel retail heatsink for the Socket 478 (Pentium 4), which was used to create a liquid cooling part in the same or similar volume. Asetek integrated the pump and the reservoir in the tight space above the actual processor.
The idea came from the early days of Xbox 360 development, when the goal was to cool down the hot console with liquid cooling. However, when the pricing negotiations between Asetek and Microsoft broke down, Microsoft went on the market with the inadequately cooled console and we all know the history of the Red Ring of Death.