Belkin Australia claims that it is taking legal action against Melbourne based distributor PICA for selling iPod accessories that infringe on iPod design patents owned by them.
Two years ago Belkin purchased US based design Company International Graphic Design and since that acquisition the Company has developed several distinct looking iPod accessories including iPod battery packs, FM tuners and chargers. Designs which Belkin claim have been copied by PICA in Australia. Mike Bell Vice President of Belkin Australia “we have initiated legal action against PICA for patent infringement relating to iPod accessories which we believe infringe on Belkin design patents”.
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At the recent CES show in Las Vegas Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin told SmartHouse News that his Company had made significant investments in the IDG design team which he claims are now delivering leading edge industrial design which sets Belkin apart from other iPod accessory manufacturers in the market. He said” This investment is paying off because we are able to deliver leading edge products that look great and appeal to consumers”. It is this design edge that Mike Bell claims has been knocked off by the manufacturer supplying PICA.
Ms Sian Mimmo the Managing Director of PICA Australia said “We became aware via a reseller that we supply with iPod accesories of problems associated with an iPod transmitter that allegedly infringed on a Belkin design. We have suspended sale of the product. The problem is not between PICA and Belkin Australia but between ESI, our supplier of the product, and Belkin USA. We will not sell this accessory until the problem is resolved” she said. PICA Australia is a wholesale distributor of software and accessories for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. It was established in 1985 and is an Australian Accredited Distributor for Apple Computer. They are also the longest established distributor of Macintosh products in Australia and are also one of a handful of software distribution companies which operates a quality system based on the ISO9002 worldwide standards for quality management.
PICA’s product range falls into a number of categories including games and edutainment, traditional utility software, application plug-ins, fonts and clip art, as well as iPod accessories.