Lian Li is suing Phanteks over a copying system for

Lian Li is suing Phanteks over a copying system for connecting RGB fans

Lian Li filed a patent lawsuit against Phanteks in California. The Taiwanese manufacturer claims that its Dutch competitor deliberately copied patented solutions in fan design. Specifically, Lian Li claims that the Phanteks D30 series fans infringe US Patent No. 10,690,336 B1, which was issued to Lian Li in June 2020. The patent describes a daisy chain method RGBFan via a simple and compact plug.

    Image source: Lian Li

Image source: Lian Li

Lian Li’s UNI fan line has proven to be very successful. Part of this line’s appeal may lie in the “revolutionary” locking modular headers, which are great for daisy-chaining multiple fans in a case or on a heatsink, minimizing cable clutter.

Perhaps Phanteks was actually “inspired” by the design of the Lian Li connectors or the idea behind them. However, it’s hard to believe that the idea of ​​minimizing cables while maximizing lighting features and optimizing system airflow is unique to Lian Li. It’s also possible that the Phanteks D30 series actually resembles Lian Li’s designs too closely to be considered a separate development. These questions will be a major theme in upcoming deliberations in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The lawsuit was filed on September 8, 2023, about three months after Lian Li sent Phanteks a letter complaining about products that she believed infringed. Phanteks continued to sell its D30 fans and this appears to have been the trigger for the lawsuit being filed. Lian Li is hoping for a ruling finding that Phanteks has infringed Lian Li’s copyright in the United States. If successful, Lian Li will seek damages and a ban on the sale of products sold without a license.

It is difficult to say whether Lian Li’s lawsuit has a good chance of success. The videos above show a clear similarity in fan connector designs. The general idea underlying the draft appears to be the same, but the concrete implementation may be so different that the court may dismiss the lawsuit. And if Lian Li is successful in this matter, it could trigger further litigation regarding similar products from other manufacturers, such as Thermaltake SWAFAN EX and Corsair iCUE Link systems.


About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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