In a surprise move, inMusic Brands, a company that represents 14 leading music technology brands including Akai Pro, Alesis, Denon, M-Audio and Numark has announced that it has filed suit against Japanese tech titan Roland for infringement of three of its patents.
Seeking to force Roland to stop the sale of several as-yet-unnamed products that inMusic claims use its own patented technology, the Rhode Island-based company released a statement appearing to implicate several drum instruments, which appear likely to be from the Alesis product lineup.
Edit: An unnamed source at inMusic all but confirmed this lawsuit pertains to particular Alesis products.
The patents in question are
(1) U.S. Patent No. 9,424,827, “Electronic Percussion Instrument with Enhanced Playing Area”
(2) U.S Patent No. 8,785,758, “Electronic Hi-Hat Cymbal Controller”'¨
(3) U.S. Patent No. 8, 039,724, “Removable Electronic Drum Head for an Acoustic Drum”
inMusic’s Byron McMasters, General Counsel at the company stated:
“inMusic continues to advance the electronic musical-technological frontier. Our patents are evidence of that. While we welcome healthy competition that constantly pushes the user experience forward with new ideas, competitors merely copying our innovations serve only their own bottom lines, not the musicians we serve.
As such, we intend to vigorously defend our proprietary technology against those in the drum industry who fail to innovate to improve the consumer experience and instead copy our technology and try to suppress competition through allegations related to outdated technology.”
It’s relatively unusual for music technology companies to fight it out in the courts so it will be interesting to see if this sets a precedent. In the meantime we’ll have to assume this has nothing to do with the fact that they use near-identical shades of orange for their logos..!