The way notebook processors get cooled can be patented and monetized, apparently.
Well, at least IPventures thinks that it has a good case asking notebook makers for compensation as it claims to have invented the currently common way how fan-based cooling systems in notebooks work. IPventure says that it owns the rights to an approach that would reduce the clock speed of a processor, if a fan can't maintain an acceptable temperature level in a notebook enclosure. The IP firm appears to be testing the strength of its patent by suing Lenovo and Fujitsu over cooling systems in Thinkpads and Lifebooks.
What is especially striking in this particular patent is the fact that this does not seem to be a particularly passionate patent that IPventure wants to protect from abuse. The company claims that Lenovo and Fujitsu violate tow of its patents, one awarded in March 2009 (7,506,190) and one in May of 2011 (7,937,599). The clear impression is that IPventure waited for the newer patent, which is similar to the earlier patent, but much more detailed, to clear and launch a lawsuit with the purpose to retrieve damages and license payments right away. It is not that likely than IPventure could have initiated and maintained a reasonable negotiation with both Fujitsu and Lenovo between May 2011 and the filing date of the patent infringement claim on July 5.
Perhaps IPventure has a case, but the suit surely smells. Prior art could possibly invalidate both patents and we don't think that Lenovo and Fujistu will simply pay IPventure a fee for a potentially frivolous claim.