Chinese company Lenovo is suing Framework, a new company in the laptop market for, to alter an element used to decorate an optional case. The company says that the logo with the letter “O” cut into three sections used to make the shape of a power button on an optional case from Framework is plagiarized, as this is also the logo used by Lenovo on its Legion series products. The association of this visual element on Framework computers could thus create confusion among customers.
Lenovo says that Framework uses a logo that belongs to it in its products
Farmework launched its first laptops on the market last year, with the company particularly notable for its positive attitude to repair rights. Its laptops are fully modular, with users even having the option of ordering a disassembled version that they can assemble themselves at home. In fact, the company offers all laptop components for sale, so they can be replaced if problems arise.
This year, Framework announced that it would release kits to turn laptop motherboards into standalone computers. So, just as you can use a Raspberry Pi motherboard in a plastic case to create a miniature PC, you can also use the motherboard in a Framework laptop. You can order it separately, or you can pull one out of an old or damaged laptop, or one you’ve “upgraded” to a newer motherboard.
The @Lenovo legal team says we have to change the power button on our 3D printed case, so we’re opening up a Community contest! Whoever can come up with the best new power button design gets a free i5-1135G7 Mainboard. pic.twitter.com/aBM3xRIzTF
– Framework (@FrameworkPuter) August 18, 2022
For these motherboards, Framework offers plans for 3D printers to make a home enclosure. The company doesn’t sell these cases directly, and the power button on these cases really does look like Lenovo’s Legion logo. This association seems to be accidental, however, as Framework’s logo looks more like a mechanical cog, not the Lenovo logo. It seems that this design was chosen, because this shape allows pressing without creating a more complex, multi-component button.
Most likely, the two companies won’t end up in court
Lenovo has, however, sent a letter demanding the removal of this design element from Framework cases:
“Customers may believe that these Framework enclosures, or the motherboards they cover, are manufactured, sponsored, endorsed, licensed or otherwise affiliated with Lenovo, when this is not true,” Lenovo representatives say.
Fortunately, these 3D plans can easily be modified and uploaded back to the company’s servers. Most likely, in this situation, the two companies won’t end up in court. Framework has already run a Twitter contest asking fans to create a new design for that area of the 3D model of the case. Whoever creates the best design will receive a Framework laptop motherboard as a prize.