Vista, Calif. – Directed Electronics filed a complaint for patent infringement against eight car security companies today in the District Court for the Central District of California.
The suit alleges that Precision Engineering Industries, Clarion Corporation of America, Accele Electronics, David Levy Co., Eli Electronics, Right Connection Electronics, Crimestopper Security Products, and Delta Vehicle Security infringed upon DEI’s patents.
DE’s legal and intellectual property manager KC Bean said, ‘Directed has close to 80 patents in automotive security. We acquired additional patents when we purchased Clifford Electronics last year.’
Patents from both Clifford and DEI were violated, he said. These included patents on multi-stage shock sensors (for example; if a vehicle is touched by a passerby it gives off a warning of lights flashing or a chirping sound and then if it continues to be violated, then it sets off a full alarm); on sensor bypass (which allows you to rearm a system even if one sensor is malfunctioning) and door lock pull (some door locks operate on a short pulse and some, on a long pulse. DEI has a variable pulse system).
Bean said, ‘Frankly, most security manufacturers in the industry are infringing on our patents in one way or another.’ He added DEI hopes to resolve the suit through licensing arrangements with the defendants or a cease and desist order. ‘Hopefully we can come to some kind of agreement that makes sense for both parties,’ he said.
Jim Minarik, president and CEO of Directed Electronics commented, ‘Directed has invested many millions of dollars developing and marketing its technology. This technology is protected by a large portfolio of patents and covers many features available in today’s security systems. These intellectual properties represent a significant asset of the company and we intend to protect them.’
The patents involved are United States Patent Nos. 4,887,064, which claims a multi-featured security system with self-diagnostic capability; 5,534,845, which claims an advanced automotive automation and security system; 5,157,375, which claims an electronic vehicle security system; and 5,646,591, which claims an advanced method of indicating incoming threat level to an electronically secured vehicle and apparatus therefore.
Directed manufactures brands including Viper, Clifford, Python, Avital, Sidewinder, and Valet.