Crestron Countersues Savant

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Rockleigh, N.J. - A countersuit filed by Crestron against Savant Systems sounds a lot like the suit that Savant filed late last year against Creston.

 In a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Creston charged Savant with "tortuous interference with contract, tortuous interference with prospective business relationship, and unfair and deceptive trade practices."

 Crestron contends Savant is "using its baseless lawsuit against Crestron and its calculated efforts to publicize this lawsuit to enhance Savant's competitive position at Crestron's expense," Creston said. Crestron also charges Savant with "unlawful business practices and tactics to ‘shortcut' its success in the marketplace instead of competing on the merits of its products."

 Savant is using litigation "as a means of gaining competitive advantage in the automation and control industry," Creston charged, contending the legal assault is "unprecedented and disruptive to the industry."

 Although Savant claims that Crestron has "prevented Savant from penetrating the automation and control market and foreclosed access to the established dealer channel," Creston said in a statement, Savant has nonetheless "continued to claim success in growing its sales and dealer base."

Savant filed its federal suit

on the eve of last year's CEDIA Expo, charging Crestron with violating antitrust laws, including the Sherman and Clayton Acts, violating the Lanham Act, and violating state unfair competition laws. Charges included illegally stifling competition by "threatening or financially disincentivizing dealers who offer or express an interest in offering Savant products." The suit also alleges that Crestron "has repeatedly published knowingly false statements about Savant and its products, all with the intent to unfairly compete with Savant."

In May, a federal judge

denied a second motion

by Creston to dismiss Savant's suit.

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