Oh no, Lenovo doesn't like Framework's circular power button

Oh no, Lenovo doesn’t like Framework’s circular power button

Framework, the startup that produces modular laptops designed to be repairable and upgradeable, says it has legal issues with the design of one of the power buttons. In a tweetThe startup claims to have been approached by Lenovo’s legal team, who say the circular design of the power button on one of Framework’s designs is too similar to the stylized “O” Lenovo uses in the wordmark for its brand “Legion” of gaming laptops .

“Consumers may believe that Framework’s Broken O Case or the motherboards they cover are manufactured by, sponsored, approved, licensed, or otherwise affiliated with Lenovo when they are not,” reads a screenshot of the legal letter from Lenovo posted by Framework. .

Framework’s power button versus Lenovo’s Legion wordmark.
Image: Framework and screenshot: Lenovo.com

The offensive power button design does not appear on any Framework laptop. Instead, the circle can be found in the 3D printer enclosure schematics that Framework released in April, which allows customers to build their own Raspberry Pi-like miniature PCs using only the laptop’s motherboard (these can be purchased separately and used separately). harvested from a Framework laptop). This YouTube video gives a nice overview of how the 3D printed case should work (the power button is pressed at 9:35 minutes).

“Recently, we noticed that Framework Computer Inc. (“Framework”) has released a GitHub repository of consumer 3D printable reference designs to print motherboard cases for use with Framework motherboards,” Lenovo’s legal team writes. “These 3D printer manuals have a broken O design that is confusingly similar to Lenovo’s Legion Trademarks.”

I’m not a lawyer, but I think I can see where Lenovo’s legal team comes from? The design of the power button in the schemes of Framework technically has the same three lines that break the circular design as the O in Lenovo’s Legion branding, which can be found on its website, and which is also printed directly on some of its laptops. But then again it’s… a circle, one is apparently only used in a wordmark and the other as a functional piece of hardware. But anyway, lawyers are gunna lawyer.

Framework doesn’t sell anything physically with the offending power button design, so solving the problem is theoretically as easy as uploading a replacement set of CAD files to GitHub. So instead of fighting Lenovo, Framework is holding a competition for its users to submit new designs for its power button. Entries are open until August 25 and the winner will receive a free i5-1135G7 motherboard.

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