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Antec, a well-known producer of gadgets for making PCs look fancy, claims that computer cooling fans with LEDs is their intellectual property and no other companies are allowed to make or sell them because of patent infringement.

Overclocker Caf? quotes a statement of Antec’s attorneys, who insist that fans with LEDs that are used to cool computers and also make them look more trendy is the company’s patented invention and other devices of the same kind may infringe Antec’s intellectual property rights.

“Antec takes a very strong proprietary position towards its intellectual property, which directly benefits you as a reseller. Antec products have attained a standard of quality that is associated with its name. Antec sells products that have been patented in the United States, which provide certain protections for Antec and its authorized resellers. Antec has recently become aware of the sale of LED fans by other manufacturers that appear to infringe on Antec’s 6,679,771 (herein after "the ‘771") patent entitled, "Cooling fan with light-emitting device" The ‘771 patent was issued to Antec on January 20, 2004.”

Nowadays cooling fans with LEDs for CPUs, GPUs and other chips are very popular among computer hardware enthusiasts and are available from plethora of manufacturers. Furthermore, some hardware makers, such as ABIT or Albatron, equip their add-in cards with coolers that have LEDs.

“Antec requests that you report any LED fans that you become aware of that appear to be substantially similar to the product line Antec sells and to which we have obtained a patent. Furthermore, Antec would appreciate your efforts in preventing further sales of these fans should you have innocently sold such fans without knowledge of the recent patent issuance.”

It is not clear what actions Antec may perform to defend its intellectual property. Spokeswoman for the company did not immediately return the enquiry at press time.

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