DLO Says DL NO to DVForge
As reported by MacMinute
DVForge cancels PodBuddy due to threat from DLO
DVForge today announced that it will be unable to launch and sell the previously announced PodBuddy product due to a disagreement with DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters) over a patent that it holds. "We have been informed by DLO that they consider our PodBuddy to be an infringement of their company's U.S. patent #6,591,085, and, that they will file suit against us, if we launch the PodBuddy," notes the announcement. "We disagree with DLO's claim, and, we believe that our PodBuddy is so utterly different from their company's TransPod product that there can be no question of infringement. But, we are not able to fund the sort of protracted legal battle that would be required to prove our point in court. So, we are forced to kill the PodBuddy."
I remember Jack saying in these forums that he had never been sued or never received a cease and decist.
If I am correct, this lawsuit has been on the table for some time.
While I believe the patent that DLO holds is very broad in scope, they do have the right to protect that patent and certainly they feel they have a strong case.
Basic outline text of patent:
An FM transmitter and power supply/charging assembly electrically coupleable with an MP3 player. The assembly includes a modular docking unit having a main body portion with a docking cavity therein, wherein the main body portion contains the FM transmitter and power/charging circuitry, with coupling means in the docking cavity for connecting the MP3 player with the FM transmitter and power/charging circuitry, to accommodate FM transmission by the FM transmitter of audio content when played by the MP3 player in the docking cavity of the modular docking unit, and adapted for transmitting electrical power through the modular docking unit and the power/charging circuitry therein, for charging of a battery of the MP3 player and/or powering of the MP3 player.
The patent is as found here
Looks like DLO could easily go after Griffin as well for their RoadTrip and INSTEN for their car charger/combo for the iPod.
I guess we also have to ask ourselves, with the multiple delays that the PodBuddy has seen - was it a real product? Did DVForge try to source parts from the same as DLO's or is DLO just trying to stop this one from coming to the market?
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out because Griffin Technologies pockets are deep - so I would like to see their defense if they drop the RoadTrip.
Update: An email sent to me:
In your story about FM combo transmitters, you failed to note that Griffin's does not infringe on DLO patents because (among other reasons) the FM transmitter unit is separable from the charging unit. This is unlike DV Forge’s or Belkin’s transmitters
This may be so - I'm not 100% sure this makes a difference and falls in line with my previous comment and should apply here
Apparently the patent infringement notice is NOT for Griffin as earlier surmised - as it stands - it is against DVForge and PodGear. The PodGear CarDockFM being an infringement is a no brainer. Podgear has no shame whatsoever with it's offering.
The Podbuddy may very well be different - but had the Transpod been copied directly there would be no question of infringement - the PodBuddy matches the patent description for the Transpod precisely.
"We disagree with DLO's claim, and, we believe that our PodBuddy is so utterly different from their company's TransPod product that there can be no question of infringement. But, we are not able to fund the sort of protracted legal battle that would be required to prove our point in court."
Yet DVForge can afford to award a $25,000 prize for a bogus contest, is growing at the astronomical rate of %600 a year (right column), is well funded (same page), etc etc
And ... the Podbuddy may very well be different - but had you copied it directly there would be no question of infringement - the PodBuddy matches the patent description for the Transpod precisely.
And ... hey Jack .... GIVE THIS WEBSITE FIRST DIBS NEXT TIME!!!