The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulatory unit, after a 17-month investigation of online price fixing and other illegal anti-competitive practices has levied a fine of €111.2 million ($130 million) against four prominent consumer electronics brands, including Pioneer Corp., D&M Holdings Inc. of Japan, Koninklijke Philips NV of the Netherlands, and AsusTek Computer, Inc. of Taiwan. The companies were alleged to have imposed fixed or minimum online prices for their products.
On Friday last week, we learned that Sonos and D&M Holdings have settled their litigation, first begun in October 2014. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, all actions taken by each party are now moot.
It is likely that the parties now enjoy some form of licensing arrangement that put all adversarial issues behind them.
See more on what we know about the end of the Sonos and D&M patent war… [Read more…] about Sonos v. HEOS – War is Over, Peace Has Come
Sonos Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Infringing Products
The battle rages on between D&M Holdings and Sonos over the patent infringement lawsuit brought by Sonos in 2014 against the HEOS by Denon line, and in which Sonos won the first set of their claims in a bellwether trial that concluded this past December. In retaliation for the Sonos lawsuit, D&M Holdings filed a countersuit that is now heating up, and in which they just lost a major decision from Judge Richard G. Andrews.
See more on D&M’s loss in this ongoing matter… [Read more…] about In Battle with Sonos, D&M Takes Yet Another Blow
Case May Have Major Impact on Wireless Speaker Business
As we recently reported, a federal jury gave Sonos a sweeping victory in the first “bellwether trial” in Sonos Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. et al, siding with Sonos on all counts and awarding them nearly $2 million in damages. Furthermore, the jury affirmed the validity of the three Sonos patents at issue, and disagreed with D&M’s assertion that the patents were not valid.
Strata-gee spoke with both sides of this case and, this decision notwithstanding, neither appears ready to back down, even as this is just the first of what will ultimately be three trials in the case – two where Sonos is the plaintiff, and a countersuit by D&M Holdings where they will be the plaintiff. Sonos won round one, but this is a multi-round fight.
Both Sonos and D&M Holdings talk to Strata-gee in wake of trial verdict… [Read more…] about Sonos to Seek Injunction to Stop HEOS Sales of ‘Infringing Technology’
Jury Finds for Sonos on All Counts; Denon Claims of Invalidity Vanquished
Last Friday, after a full week of testimony, evidence, deposition playbacks, and attorney posturing, members of the jury listened closely as Judge William C. Bryson delivered instructions designed to clarify their deliberative process and their duty as “finders of fact” in the matter of Sonos, Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. d/b/a/The D+M Group, D&M Holdings U.S. Inc., and Denon Electronics (USA), LLC. The judges verbal instructions took a while to relay, as the reality is that patent disputes can be quite complex and the issues of intellectual property quite nuanced yet important.
In written form, which the Judge provided the jury for their easy referral, his instructions ran a full 27-pages long. After considering it all, the jury came back with a finding in favor of Sonos on all counts – and delivered an award to Sonos of just under $2 million for damages.
See more on this conclusion to a three year litigation… [Read more…] about Verdict: ‘Denon Directly Infringed’ on Sonos Patents
Will High-End Classé Represent Sound United’s Crown Jewel?
Just when you thought it was all over, Strata-gee has learned that a new suitor – Vista, CA-based Sound United – has emerged to make a bid to acquire Classé Audio from current owner B&W Group. Classé was shut down by B&W on October 6th, as we reported at the time. However, because the company was still sitting on a relatively significant level of inventory – and was considering producing an additional small run of certain models to balance out their inventory to facilitate liquidation – B&W executives often maintained it was still in business.
When deals with three previously interested parties failed to come to fruition, B&W made the decision to close Classé’s Montreal headquarters, dismiss all Classé staff, and turned over service and support functions to B&W facilities.
See more on this surprising development for Classé… [Read more…] about Surprise! Sound United Makes Bid to Acquire Classé
Trial is Next Week; Sonos Makes Big Mistake
Ever since Sonos filed their patent infringement case against D&M Holdings – in reference to its then new HEOS line – things started out like the opening salvo in a boxing match. That was over three years ago in October 2014 and after an initial flurry, including the filing of a countersuit by D&M Holdings, the event went on to settle down into more of a wrestling match, as opposed to boxing. Each side jockeyed for leverage on the other, with our judgment giving a slight advantage to Sonos, whose legal team seemed just slightly better in their approach perhaps even winning over the judge in a series of mostly favorable rulings.
Now, on the eve of trial and in front of a new judge, things are really moving from its long, low simmer to a boil – in fact, boiling over in the days leading up to trial next week starting December 11.
See recent developments just days before commencement of trial… [Read more…] about Long Simmering Sonos vs. D&M Lawsuit is Now Boiling Over
Delaware District Judge Richard G. Andrews has delivered a decision that is sure to be a blow against D&M Holdings’ defense in its now long-running patent infringement dispute with Sonos, originally filed in October 2014. Judge Andrews has denied a motion by D&M to invalidate four key Sonos patents at the heart of their dispute and a key part of Sonos’ claim that D&M’s HEOS products infringe upon these and other patents.
See more on this dramatic decision from the court in favor of Sonos… [Read more…] about Judge Finds Against D&M; Affirms Sonos Patents
Control4 Corporation announced today that it will begin offering Denon products to Control4 dealers through a web portal at which products from both brands can be purchased. The move is a first for both brands, as far as we’re aware, and represents a potential expansion of Denon’s distribution channel.
See more on this new Denon/Control4 relationship… [Read more…] about Control4 to Sell Denon Products Directly to Dealers
The legal war between Sonos, Inc. and D&M Holdings, Inc. is really just getting started and already D&M Holdings has lost its first major battle – with U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews denying their motion to disqualify the attorneys representing Sonos. The matter, a patent infringement case filed by Sonos in late 2014 against D&M Holdings, Inc. dba The D+M Group, D&M Holdings U.S. Inc., and Denon Electronics (USA), LLC (D&M), is related to D&M’s HEOS line of wireless music systems.