Monsters in Reverse

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,348
Monster Cable's frivolous legal action concerning the name "Monster" is now epic. In the same vein, or same water cooling line rather, Aquatuning of Germany which sells many products is registering the trademark names of its many of its distributors! Such as Bitspower, Danger Den, Koolance, Swiftech, Thermochill, XSPC, and possibly others.

Aquatuning is now giving different stories to the companies that hold these trademarked names as to why Aquatuning has registered these names abroad, without notice to the US Trademark holders. One reason given is that Aquatuning were ensuring another reseller couldn't do the same and force Aquatuning out of their market. However, a competing German reseller has received a cease-and-desist letter from Aquatuning concerning one of the newly registered trademarks.

To add a bit more interest to the story, it seems that the CEO (or one of them, yes, they have two listed) of Aquatuning, Andreas Rudnicki, is also a founder of Alphacool.de, the German watercooling manufacturer which now sells under Alphacool.com.

Translated: "At the head of AlphaCool is 3 persons: Andreas Rudnicki, Marcus Böttcher and Taner Demirci."

Vote with your wallet.

Follow-up Story 06/11/2009

We reported on this story yesterday, but have some more interesting information is coming to light. We explained to you that Aquatuning CEO Andreas Rudnicki, was a founder of Alphacool, which is correct. Alphacool contacted us directly and made a HardForum post explaining that Mr. Rudnicki is no longer employed by Alphacool and has not been since 2006. It seems as though Mr. Rudnicki’s penchant for registering others’ marks is not a recent event and is simply a skill he acquired while at Alphacool and has taken with him to Aquatuning. We have uncovered that while Mr. Rudnicki was employed by Alphacool, he registered the mark “Black Ice” which was registered in the US and in full use by Hardware Labs here in the USA which was selling to Alphacool at the time. According to the records, the Black Ice mark was finally let go by Alphacool some time in 2007. So it would seem to us that Rudnicki’s trademark behavior, or lack thereof, is nothing new. We have sent Nathaniel Draht, the reported owner of Aquatuning an email, but have yet to get a response.

The costs associated with defending these alleged trademark violations will likely cost the hardware enthusiast money. Vote with your wallet.

_________________________________________

Follow-up 6/13/09

Oh wait a second, no Aquatuning did nothing but whine to us when we asked for its comments! If you have been following the tremendously questionable acts of watercooling company Aquatuning (covered first here, then updated here ), this will be of interest to you. We reached out to Aquatuning "owner," Nathanael Draht for comment on the recent stories and to make sure HardOCP was getting the story related properly. He responded here today with an email, but asked for none of its contents to be published. I will however say that Herr Draht has accused HardOCP of "initiating a hatred campaign against Aquatuning." I will also say that Draht did not point out any of our reporting as inaccurate. No denials of any allegations where made.
 
Last edited:

lostnkonfused

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
133
This is ridiculous. Doesn't make any sense into how they were granted the trademarks in the first place. Isn't this some violation of international trademark laws i.e. Madrid Agreement?
 

SuperTroye

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
177
Does their cease-and-desist letter imply that no one else in Europe can sell the products from the companies' they are trademarking? Kyle, could you reveal the source of this information? Was this posted as a news story somewhere or is this leaked info?
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,743
This trademark business is madness. Pretty soon the only names not trademarked will be Popplers and Zitzles.
 

denali

n00b
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
60
Wow, that's messed up.

Hey Kyle, has there been any comment from the companies getting shafted about this?
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,348
Kyle, could you reveal the source of this information? Was this posted as a news story somewhere or is this leaked info?

Sorry no, I will not reveal my source(s). To my knowledge, this has not be published elsewhere. To the point though, it is not a regurgitated news story.
 

GilmourD

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
11,187
Wow... Seriously... Those are douchecanoes I'd like to see run aground.
 

RedRaider

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
352
I have a feeling these Krauts are going to regret this.

To think a company could be this blatantly stupid...
 

R0N1

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
1,174
This is just unnecessary, this will make them having a bad image only.
 

C'DaleRider

Weaksauce
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
75
What's really ironic is this..........go to the link below (it's the EU Community Trademark search service, for searching who is/has trademarked whatever...) and type in Aquatuning.

CTM-ONLINE - Trade mark consultation service - Basic

You'll come up with no one owning that trademark in the EU.....and all one needs is 1800 Euros to trademark that "wordmark". It'd be justice to watch someone else trademark Aquatuning's name and force them to "cease and desist" using it. ROFL!
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
Kyle, this is some seriously awesome sleuthing. Someone call up 60 minutes or something!

Great work!
 

magnetik

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
5,924
i'm a little ignorant on trademark law... but why didn't all those companies trademark their own names before aquatuning did?
 

Alphacool

n00b
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Messages
1
Hi @ all:

i am from Alphacool, i just wanted to say, that Alphacool and Aquatuning are 2 different and independet companies. There are no joint possession and no collective leadership. Mr Rudnicki is by Aquatuning since he has left the company in the mid of 2006.

We distance our self from this affair.

Greetings
 

TinyRK

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
112
Hahaha, usually Geeman law is (may I quote Borat: )
tight like a man's anus
so whenever there is a loop hole, it will be used.

Anyways,
they won't get far...
We'll see ;)
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,348
Hi @ all:

i am from Alphacool, i just wanted to say, that Alphacool and Aquatuning are 2 different and independet companies. There are no joint possession and no collective leadership. Mr Rudnicki is by Aquatuning since he has left the company in the mid of 2006.

We distance our self from this affair.

Greetings

To let you guys know, this gentleman is in fact from Alphacool so I would say his information is accurate.

I could find nothing online that marked Rudnicki's leaving the company, so this is surely good to know.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,348
Have you seen this man?

rudnicki.jpg
 

Derangel

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
19,785
Wow. This guy makes Monster look like saints in comparison. I'm going to do my part to help this information get around.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
758
I've purchased a couple small bits of Alphacool stuff for commissioned builds, but because of this I don't plan on acquiring anything else for the time being simply based on common respect (or lack thereof on their part). I'm dropping my PPC's headquarters later, and I'll let them know about this as well. I'm curious what Hank and James have to say about this, lol. Should be worth a laugh or two.
 

CopyCat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 23, 2001
Messages
4,641
Dirty business like this leaves a horrible taste in ones mouth.

I wonder if the companies combined can muster up enough bodies to go after these assholes
 

END

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2000
Messages
1,227
wow what a sleaze ball, i think we can get enough ppl together to take this sleaze ball out of business.
 

Mize

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
134
Guys, this sort of thing is nothing new. It may be new to water cooling companies but it's been rampant in other industries for years. When I opened my subsidiary in China the lawyers I hired urged me to quickly trademark all of the marks of my competitors in Europe and the USA. Perfectly legal so long as you actually use the mark (come out with some product with that name) within one year.

You can blame this guy for being a sleeze, but her probably had a lawyer telling him to do it.
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
Guys, this sort of thing is nothing new. It may be new to water cooling companies but it's been rampant in other industries for years. When I opened my subsidiary in China the lawyers I hired urged me to quickly trademark all of the marks of my competitors in Europe and the USA. Perfectly legal so long as you actually use the mark (come out with some product with that name) within one year.

You can blame this guy for being a sleeze, but her probably had a lawyer telling him to do it.

The legality of it doesn't matter ... it is a dickish thing to do and we won't stand for it. The water cooling and computer enthusiast community isn't very large. And Aquatuning has just pissed off a large number of them.
 

Mize

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
134
The legality of it doesn't matter ... it is a dickish thing to do and we won't stand for it. The water cooling and computer enthusiast community isn't very large. And Aquatuning has just pissed off a large number of them.

Oh I completely agree, I'm just saying he may have been following someone else's advice. People do the same with patents - surf US patent applications and then quickly patent them in the EU and Asia. Very sleazy.
 

dawp

Gawd
Joined
May 13, 2002
Messages
649
I've purchased a couple small bits of Alphacool stuff for commissioned builds, but because of this I don't plan on acquiring anything else for the time being simply based on common respect (or lack thereof on their part). I'm dropping my PPC's headquarters later, and I'll let them know about this as well. I'm curious what Hank and James have to say about this, lol. Should be worth a laugh or two.

Alphacool isn't the trouble, It's Aquatuning that is. I have never bought anything from Aquatuning and don't plan on starting.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
758
Alphacool isn't the trouble, It's Aquatuning that is. I have never bought anything from Aquatuning and don't plan on starting.

With the follow-up info Kyle posted earlier, this is now true. That's good, I suppose. I never had any issues with Alphacool's products personally. But Aquatuning? No way.
 

SelousSizzle

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
154
What's the skinny on Aquatuning? Looks like they are a retailer of others brands and manufacturer their own proprietary line water cooling kits, right? What if they intend to sell Danger Den and other brands of cooling supplies, wouldn't it help to have the patent names? If they intend to become a major distributor in Europe of water cooling supplies where other companies obviously haven't penetrated enough to warrant them purchasing their own trade names, well, wouldn't this potentially benefit those manufacturers more? More product sold equals more sales. Just playing devil's advocate here.
 

0xygenthief

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
83
Alphacool has never been on the up and up, in my opinion. This is just new chapter in the book of why Alphacool sucks.

A few years back I decided to buy a, then new and powerful, 18W Laing DDC pump. Only no one was selling it in the US. Alphacool was the only one. So I took a leap and bought what they had listed as the DDC+ (ULTRA) 18W pump on their website.

Only what I purchased and what they sent me were completely different. I got the 9W Gen 2 and non plus (+) version that sucks in comparison. Apparently "ULTRA" in German means "Left over piece of crap we give to Americans". After contacting them they were apologetic over the phone for the mistake and suggested I send it back for a replacement. Upon receipt they would send me another.

But wait, they refused to pay shipping back to Germany and REQUIRED that it be sent via FED EX. (otherwise the package would not be accepted). Guess how much the shipping fees would have been? All those who voted for $50 more than the cost of the pump itself would be wrong.... it was $65 more!!!

Since I had paid using PayPal I tried to get them involved but they sided with Alphacool in the end.

In any case, I am not shocked to see Alphacool in the headlines for shady practices. I am just amazed that people are just now focusing on them...

Daily amazed, rarely shocked...
 
Top