Patent troll hunts notebook cooling

Notebook manufactures are about to come under attack from a patent troll called Ipventure.

The outfit claims that it holds the patent for cooling down a notebook. It’s suing Fujitsu and Lenovo over the use of its invention in the Lifebook and Thinkpad products.

Ipventure buys patents and licenses them to other organisations, but it thinks that it has the rights to a broad patent which applies to virtually every computer cooling system.

It has two patents as its main lines of attack. There is Patent 7,506,190, awarded in March 2009, and patent 7,937,599, awarded in May of 2011.

Both talk about providing a “thermal and power management for computer systems” which basically reduce processor speed as soon as the fan can’t maintain a reasonable operating temperature within a notebook.

Ipventure claims its invention monitors a processor’s activity and its temperature. If the processor is not doing anything then a slow clock frequency is used, thereby saving power and lowering the thermal heat produced by the processor.

“However, when prolonged activity causes the processor’s temperature to become dangerously high for proper operation, the clock frequency is reduced so as to maintain processing speed at a reduced speed while preventing overheating,” the patent says.

Once this was a novel approach, but this probably was a long time before the original patent claimed by IPventure was filed on June 22, 2007. We would have thought there is prior art which could invalidate both of its patents.

However, IPventure seems to be more interested in getting a big payout on the patent.

As Conceivably Tech points out, the patent was granted on May 3, 2011 and the suit was filed on July 5. That is hardly enough time to negotiate a licence deal.