|Antec Inc., one of the famous computer case, power supply, and fan maker, started sending out letters to various online retailers that would request them to inform Antec of counterfeit LED fans several weeks ago. Antec seemed to have patented the LED fans of specific kind according to reports from Antec and the US patent office. This put the entire modding community in a complete shock.
According to Antec, they have patented a particular design. This doesn't mean that other manufacturers can't produce them and retailers can't sell them. Scott Richards, World Wide Vice President of Sales and Marketing, reported that retailers are allowed to sell their current stock, however, they must report the counterfeit LED fans in the future to Antec.
Richards also said that Antec is not trying to cause any problems or make anyone lose money. "We are simply trying to protect our intellectual property", said the company's World Wide Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
He also informed "All LED fans do not necessarily infringe on our patent, only the best ones do. That's why so many companies copied our design".
Antec has sent legal letters to companies who were copying Antec's patented LED fan designs. Richards said, Antec has asked these companies to stop or contact about a licensing agreement. The case maker also informed that it is not planning to file a lawsuit against any manufacturer. "At this moment we have no plan to do so but that could change based on the response to our lawyers", said the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
When asked, if there will ever be a time when Antec will be the only ones to produce LED fans? Antec's Richards replied with "There was a time when Antec was the only company to make LED fans, from early 2002, until the copycats started in the summer of that year. We doubt we will ever be the only ones again".
Antec plans to approach this matter with care and will not give into the pressure from the community of users and the retailers.
Antec, however, would like to state that the company is regreting this whole issue. Antec feels that this matter has been taken seriously by end-users who now portray the case, power supply, and LED fan producer as greedy. Antec states that users jumped to the conclusion without confirming the facts. "The fact is that we filed our first patent in March of 2002 in China and Taiwan and only filed the US patents a year later because it became obvious that we could not get relief in the country that so many of the copycats were doing their manufacturing, China, despite having a patent", confirmed Richards.
The company believes it's LED fans produce the best results and that's what the patent identifies. "The other fact is that our patent is for a certain design of LED fans, not simply the idea of sticking lights in or on a fan", said Richards.