Roland is getting serious about defending its patents. Yesterday, it was awarded $4.6 million from a lawsuit against InMusicBrands, parent company of Alesis as well as brands including Akai, Denon, M-Audio, Stanton and more.
Filings in the Southern District of Florida indicate that a jury has awarded more than $4.6 million to Japanese music company Roland in a long-running patent lawsuit against the parent company of rival Alesis.
A judgment was entered on November 21, 2022 after a jury found that Alesis’ products infringed a group of eight Roland patents, awarding Roland $2.7 million in lost profits and $1.9 million in reasonable royalties, for a total judgment of $4.6 million.
The case was initially filed in 2016, but goes back much further. Court documents indicate that Roland had sent a letter of potential infringement in 2011 noting Roland’s patents and alleged violation by Alesis. A cease-and-desist was sent in 2015, followed by a lawsuit initially filed a year later against InMusicBrands, Inc., the parent company of Alesis and an array of music and technology brands including Akai, Denon, M-Audio, Marantz, Numark, Stanton and Rane.
The lawsuit was against Alesis over electronic drum patents owned by Roland. Among those cited were:
US Patent No. 7,385,135 for “ELECTRONIC PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTAL SYSTEM AND PERCUSSION DETECTING APPARATUS THEREIN”
US Patent No. 6,921,857 for “ELECTRONIC PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTAL SYSTEM AND PERCUSSION DETECTING APPARATUS THEREIN”
US Patent No. 6,756,535 for “ELECTRONIC PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTAL SYSTEM AND PERCUSSION DETECTING APPARATUS THEREIN”
and five others.
Among the infringing products produced by Alesis allleged by Roland were the Strike Pro Kit, Strike Kit, Crimson Mesh Kit, Command Kit, DM10 X Mesh Kit, 12″ Mesh Head Pad, 10″ Mesh Head Pad, 8″ Mesh Head Pad, 8″ mesh Head Bass Drum Pad and DM10 Studio Mesh Kit.
Here are a few of the images of the alleged infringing products by Alesis from the initial complaint:
Roland products have been widely cloned over the years, with increasing legal pushback.
Remarkably for a case of this type, Roland pursued InMusicBrands all the way to a jury trial, which arrived at a verdict in Roland’s favor on November 10, 2022.