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Harman, D&M Settle Patent Suits

Dispute was over Studer’s FaderGlow technology

Harman’s Studer Vista 5 M3 features Studer’s FaderGlow, the center of the lawsuit. Harman introduced the updated audio console at the 2013 NAB Show.

Harman International Industries and D&M Holdings say they’ve reached a deal to settle two lawsuits brought by Harman subsidiary Studer Professional Audio GmbH against D&M and its subsidiaries D&M Holdings U.S. Inc. and Calrec Audio Ltd.

Studer filed suit against D&M and Calrec in October, 2011, alleging that D&M and Calrec infringed three Studer patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,682,044, U.S. Patent No. 7,784,968, and European Patent (U.K.) 1,665,593. These patents concern Studer’s FaderGlow technology, incorporated in Studer’s Vista 9 Series digital mixing consoles and Soundcraft’s Vi and Si Series digital live sound consoles.

With Studer’s FaderGlow technology, faders are color-coded using an LED strip according to function or channel indicator. In that way, the board operator can see which faders control a subset of a group such as soloists in an orchestra, or highlight the fader for a key presenter on a show so it can be quickly accessed, according to the company.

Studer alleged that D&M and Calrec infringe these patents through the manufacture and sale of Calrec’s Apollo and Artemis audio mixing consoles. The lawsuits that were pending in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey have either been dismissed or soon will be dismissed, according to all parties.

As part of the settlement, D&M has agreed to modify the affected Apollo and Artemis consoles. Other terms of the settlement remain confidential.

In February and November 2013, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued ex parte reexamination certificates confirming the patentability of original and new claims of the ’044 and ’968 patents.

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