American Technology, Inc. sues U.S. e-/retailers for patent infringement

You can read the full story over on [H]ardOCP

It appears as though the plaintiff (American Technology, Inc.) is attempting to make some quick tort profits off of e-tailers and retailers in the U.S. that sell CPU coolers that use heat pipes. While they claim to have a patent (specifically, US Patent # 6,411,512), the technology described therein appears completely different. Further, they are only targeting smaller companies who probably lack the funds to fight any kind of legal battle. Oh, and they also claim that end users are infringing upon their patent as well.

While I personally hope that the court system will throw this out, there's a long list of successful patent trolling attempts out there. We'll see how things proceed from here.


Senior Editor
Staff member
Looks like a round of bully tactics again. To go after retailers is just low, when it is the manufacturers they should go after, the best they could hope for from a retailer is an injunction, since they did not produce the items in question, and i'm sure there are trade agreements in place (as standard practice) that remove the retailer from any legal proceedings that may be incurred as a result of the manufacturers patent infringement.

Any bets that if they try to take anyone to trial, it'll be in Texas?

Rob Williams

Staff member
Do patent trolls deliberately wait for as long as possible before raising the issue or something? I see it all too often, that a company comes out of nowhere claiming infringement on something that has been around forever. CPU cooler heatpipes are hardly new, so what was the hold-up?

Either way, hopefully this gets thrown out. It seems like it will do nothing but risk putting some of the smaller companies out of business. Suing the retailers for something like this is even stranger...
I'm sure that in the case of patent trolling, the trolling company will wait until there is an established profit from the product in question. After all, what's the point in suing for $2 million in damages when you can wait another 3-4 years and sue for $20 million?

It's things like this that make me so very tired of our litigious society.
As an update to the story,
FrozenCPU has engaged the law firm of Storm LLP of Dallas, Texas to defend them in the patent infringement brought by ATI against the numerous defendants. Storm LLP is an intellectual property boutique that specializes in intellectual property litigation. You might recognize them as the firm that defended [H]ARDOCP against Infinium Labs. Whereas ATI appears to be embarking on the well established plaintiff strategy of first destroying the small and helpless villages on its way to seeking the fortunes of a larger city, FrozenCPU has decided to put up a fight and rally the villages together to put up a collect fight. In my opinion, they have really picked the right law firm to do just that. John Fischer is lead counsel for Storm LLP, and if anybody can kill a patent – he can. He recently defended JC Penney in a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas, and the attack on the patents was so severe, the plaintiff gave up the case at the early Markman Hearing stage. It remains to be seen it these villages can work together, or if they will try to defend themselves independently.