DICE, Aamp & Others Sued

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DICE, Aamp of America, PIE, USA Spec, and Vais Technology have been sued for patent infringement on iPod and other car kits by the owner of Blitzsafe, a car kit maker.

The suit, Marlowe Patent Holdings vs the defendants named above, was filed in June in U.S. District court of N.J. and seeks damages and an injunction against the sale of the products in dispute.

Ira Marlowe, the owner of Blitzsafe and Marlowe Patent Holdings, says he is trying to collect licensing fees on a patent awarded in February 2009 and applied for in December 2002. He’s reached out to some of the companies to no avail. “I’m from the aftermarket. I want to see it flourish. Buy why should I invent a technology to let someone take it, run with it and not come up to the plate and pay me for my own stuff.”

The suit covers “interfaces that enable auxiliary audio devices to be integrated with an existing automobile stereo system.”

Aamp of America CEO Ron Freeman said, “Aamp stands behind its products and is vigorously defending against these allegations, which we do not believe to have merit.”

PIE’s attorney Maxwell S. Kennerly of The Beasley Firm said, “We will vigorously defend the claim, including by showing the patent is invalid based upon prior art.”

Marlowe’s patent is US 748,786 B2 and it covers integration kits where “one or more after-market audio devices, such as a CD player, CD changer, MP3 player, satellite receiver, DAB receiver, or the like, is integrated for use with an existing OEM or after-market car stereo system, wherein control commands can be issued at the car stereo…..”

Blitzsafe sells aftermarket car kits and has sold OEM kits for Blaupunkt, Sony, Clarion, XM, Alpine and others, it said.

Source: CEoutlook

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3 Comments

  1. This is no different than when Bob Carver went after all the home speaker manufacturers with his patent of “a small subwoofer enclosure with alot of power”

    2 or 3 companies caved in and payed royalties but then one said “no way” and took it to court, Bob lost. You can’t patent something that has been in the industry for decades or is the natural progression of existing technology.

  2. Ira Marlowe is a smart guy, not in the realm of an inventor. But in the realm of someone trying to profit on others ideas. He’s in the business of filing for patents for products that are already in the marketplace. Knowing that time to market is critical. Most companies can’t wait until the patent office can get around to issuing a patent. So they go to market as quickly as possible. Ira seizes on this fact, and then sues theses legitimate companies since his Blitzsafe brand is in the toilet. It is in my opinion and hope that his unfounded claims are brought to light and this puts the final nail in the Blitzsafe coffin.

    Here is the text from his Patent, which include vague and general terms to blanket any and all products that connect to a radio, and describes products that were already on the market before his filing. The fact it took the patent office 7 years to issue it also goes to show how weak the patent is and how out of touch the patent office is. The patent office is facilitating this kind of action.

    Patent # 7,489,786
    An audio device integration system is provided. One or more after-market audio devices, such as a CD player, CD changer, MP3 player, satellite receiver, DAB receiver, or the like, is integrated for use with an existing OEM or after-market car stereo system, wherein control commands can be issued at the car stereo and responsive data from the audio device can be displayed on the stereo. Control commands generated at the car stereo are received, processed, converted into a format recognizable by the audio device, and dispatched to the audio device for execution. Information from the audio device, including track, disc, song, station, time, and other information, is received, processed, converted into a format recognizable by the car stereo, and dispatched to the car stereo for display thereon. One or more auxiliary input sources can be integrated with the car stereo, and selected between using the controls of the car stereo. Both an audio device and one or more auxiliary input sources can be integrated together, and a user can select between the device or the one or more auxiliary input sources by issuing selection commands through the car stereo. A docking station is provided for docking a portable audio or video device for integration with the car stereo.

  3. I can’t speak to the legality issues, but my gut reaction is; Just what this industry needs. More controversy. And whatever the ultimate costs are, the consumer will end up paying it. The same consumer who is buying less and less of our products already. I can only hope that this is resolved quickly, and with as little added cost as possible. Then we can get back to dealing with the real issues, like integration products that perform seamlessly in all stated applications and not just “most”.

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