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.
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.