Phanteks denies it copied Lian Li in PC fan row set to go to California court

Phanteks D30 fan at the centre of a court case with Lian Li.
(Image credit: Phanteks)

Phanteks has responded to a lawsuit filed by rival peripheral maker Lian Li over alleged copyright infringement. Lian Li holds that Phanteks infringed on its patent for daisy-chaining multiple PC fans together with its D30 fans, which Phanteks has since denied. Phanteks says it expects "this legal matter will confirm there is no infringement."

"We at Phanteks can confirm the filing of the patent infringement suit filed by a fellow PC enthusiast brand," a statement from Phanteks, seen by TechPowerUp, says. "We want to inform the community that our legal team is and has always properly handled any legal issue or communication that has arose."

"From the start of the Phanteks D30 fan development, we set out to design an original product that innovates to provide new solutions to PC enthusiasts. We have consulted with patent lawyers during the development and prior to the announcement of the D30 fans and the fans were not found to infringe on the claims in the patent. Phanteks D30 fans are an original idea and have been issued patents in multiple countries to date.

"We value and respect valid and enforceable IP rights and are confident that the result of this legal matter will confirm there is no infringement. We will continue our mission to serve the PC community by creating unique and innovative solutions."

The lawsuit, filed September 8 by Lian Li in California Central District Court, seeks to halt sales of Phantek's D30 fan lineup. It also requests damages be paid to rectify the alleged infringement.

What we don't yet know is if any other fan manufacturers have received the same action or threat of action from Lian Li. There are many more manufacturers with daisy-chained fan designs today, including Corsair and Seasonic—to name those I saw out at Computex this year. But it could also be that there's something about Phanteks' specific implementation, which uses bridge connectors, that has Lian Li bent out of shape.

Lian Li's daisy-chainable fan design.

Lian Li's UNI Fan SL can daisy-chained together to create a 4-fan cluster. (Image credit: Lian Li)

The fan concept in question is essentially a way to hook up multiple PC fans together without adding more cables into the mix. Traditionally, you'd have a cable run from each fan inside a PC case or mounted to a radiator. With these fans from Phanteks (D30) or Lian Li (UNI Fan), however, you can slot a few fans together and run a single cable at your convenience. It's a nice idea, but not really worth all the commotion.


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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.