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DLO Hits Belkin and Griffin With Lawsuit - Updated

Netalog, better known by its DBA name, DLO, has filed a lawsuit against Belkin and Griffin alleging patent infringement. The suit claims that both companies are violating a DLO patent that covers a type of FM radio transmitter and charger that lets you play your MP3 player's music through your car stereo. The patent in question is number 6,591,085, entitled "FM Transmitter and Power Supply/Charging Assembly for MP3 Player."

DLO feels that Belkin's TuneBase FM and Griffin's RoadTrip directly violate its patent. Both products are iPod accessories that compete directly with DLO's TransPod.

Both suits were filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The case against Belkin, which was just filed, is in the early stages of discovery. Griffin's case was filed in September of 2004, and has completed discovery. A trial in that case has been set for some time in 2006.

DLO is seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages, and enhanced damages for willfulness, claiming that both companies willfully violated the patent. The patent was originally filed on July 17, 2002, and was granted on July 8, 2003.

In a statement to The Mac Observer, a representative from Griffin commented "We do not believe that the DLO patent is valid, nor that any of our products infringes the patent. In 2004 we sued Netalog for a declaration to that effect; that their patent is invalid and not infringed upon."

Griffin has filed motions that the case be dismissed on those grounds.

A guest noted in the comments for this article that DLO stopped DVForge from releasing its PodBuddy product earlier this year, and included a link to a story on the Jackwhispers Web site. MacMinute also noted on May 23 that DLO stopped DVForge from releasing the PodBuddy.

Belkin was not available for comment.

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