Switch licenses patents to Schneider Electric, ramps up legal efforts
Tue 8 Aug 2017
Data centre solutions firm Switch has licensed patented technology to Schneider Electric, and has threatened legal action against unlicensed use.
Switch claims to have led the way over the years in terms of data centre technology inventions, designed by founder and CEO Rob Roy. A declaration that it has 350 issued and pending patent claims takes pride of place on its website.
In a statement, Switch argues that companies are copying the innovations that it has patented, and is preparing to bolster its intellectual property legal team in order to stop this from happening.
On the company’s reaction to apparent infringement of Roy’s designs, Switch executive VP of policy and deputy general counsel, Sam Castor, said: ‘Today many companies copy these designs in their data centres, and while Switch is flattered, we are also ramping up our IP legal team to address those that are infringing on our patents.’
As part of its fight, Switch has entered into a licensing agreement with energy management and automation giant Schneider Electric, for a cooling system patented by Switch.
The licensing agreement allows Schneider to use all patented technologies involved in Switch’s 100% Hot Aisle Containment Chimney and Exterior Wall Penetrating Multi-Mode HVAC technology. The technology claims to improve efficiency by preventing hot air from servers mixing with cold air from cooling systems.
Switch moved away from keeping its patents exclusive to its customers in 2016, when it began a program of licensing to third parties. It argues that the desire of third party organisations to use its technology demonstrates its position as a leader in data centre technology, but is also picky about who it chooses to license to.
Castor commented: ‘The industry continues to recognize the benefits of Switch’s technology to reduce data centre carbon footprints and improve server deployment densities and efficiencies. Switch’s Policy team licenses Switch technology to those best situated to help lay the foundation for the internet of everything, like Schneider Electric, and we will vigorously defend against unauthorized use.’