Lenovo’s Lawyers Hate Framework’s Power Button, but You Can Design a Replacement

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The 3D-printable Framework Mainboard Desktop case.

Framework’s open-source PC case needs a small redesign. The modular PC company just shared an email from Lenovo’s lawyers, who believe that the 3D-printable Framework case violates Lenovo LEGION trademarks. And it’s all because of a power button.

This is a somewhat frustrating situation. For those who missed it, Framework launched a free and 3D-printable desktop PC case design in April. The idea is that customers can turn an old Framework laptop mainboard into a dedicated desktop computer, or even purchase a standalone mainboard for the project.

But because this is a 3D-printed case with zero off-the-shelf hardware, it uses a “cutout” power button. You can see it in the above image—a loosely-attached circle of plastic that’s flexible enough to serve as a power “button.”

Lenovo believes that this button violates its LEGION trademarks, specifically the “broken O” in the LEGION logo. Lawyers at the company reached out to Framework via an email, which you can see in the tweet below.

We believe that the Broken O Case may infringe Lenovo’s trademark rights in the LEGION
Trademarks, and may ultimately lead to consumer confusion. In other words, consumers could believe that Framework’s Broken O Case or the motherboards they cover are produced by, sponsored, endorsed, licensed, or otherwise affiliated with Lenovo, when that is not the case.

Lenovo’s legal statement is questionable, obviously. But Framework is smart enough to roll with the punches. Instead of putting up a fight, Framework asks its fans and customers to help design a new power button. And whoever creates the winning design will receive a prize!

So, this is a contest. Framework will accept entries until August 25th at 11:59pm PST. The chosen winner will score a free i5-1135G7 Mainboard, which they can pair with a 3D-printed Framework desktop case.

You can submit your new power button design in Framework’s Twitter thread. Entries will be judged by Framework CEO Nirav Patel, and the winner will be announced August 26th.

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