Two popular iPod accessory makers are embroiled in a legal dispute that’s caused one of them to sue the other, alleging patent infringement.
Netalog, the parent company of iPod peripheral maker
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), on Thursday announced that it’s filed a patent infringement lawsuit against
Belkin Corp. This new suit echoes another patent infringement suit Netalog filed against
Griffin Technology in 2004 — a case that’s still pending in court.
The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, and it alleges that Belkin has infringed Netalog’s U.S. Patent 6,591,085, entitled “FM Transmitter and Power Supply/Charging Assembly for MP3 Player.”
Netalog claims that Belkin’s TuneBase FM product infringes upon Netalog’s own design. Netalog has asked the court for injunctive relief, monetary damages and enhanced damages for willfulness — the suit is in the early stages of discovery, according to the company.
In September 2004, Netalog filed similar charges against Griffin Technology, alleging that Griffin’s RoadTrip FM transmitter/iPod battery charger infringed upon Netalog’s patent. A trial in that case is planned for 2006.
Griffin, for its part, denies DLO’s claim.
“We do not believe that the DLO patent is valid, nor that any of our products infringes the patent. In 2004 we sued Netalog for a declaration to that effect; that their patent is invalid and not infringed upon,” said Griffin in a statement provided to Playlist .
“We have filed motions asking that the case be dismissed on those grounds and that the Court is currently considering those motions,” said Griffin.
“Additionally, DLO filed the lawsuit against us during a period when DLO was secretly recruiting one of our senior managers, which is currently under separate litigation,” the company concluded.
Belkin could not be reached for comment as Playlist posted this article.