By Clive Young.
Jessup, MD (August 21, 2009)--Automated Processes, Inc. (API) has renamed its specialty brand, Arsenal Audio By API, as JDK Audio, following a legal complaint by consumer electronics manufacturer JVC.
JVC Americas Corp owns a trademark for the word "arsenal" in regards to car audio products; the electronics giant alleged in the complaint that API deliberately infringed JVC's property with a "clear unmistakable intent and effect of causing confusion, mistake and deception among customers." As part of the complaint, JVC demanded that API hand over the domain name "arsenalaudio.com," accusing the pro audio manufacturer of cybersquatting.
"I explored every angle I could," API president Larry Droppa told Pro Sound News. "Could we get along, would they license the name? Pretty much any possibility of continuing anything was looked at, but the answer ultimately was 'no.'"
Arsenal Audio by API originally debuted at Summer NAMM in June, 2008 with three products--the R20 two-channel mic pre; the R24 two-channel four-band EQ; and the V14 four-band VPR 500 format equalizer. JVC filed the complaint mere weeks later at the end of July, 2008, alleging that consumers would confuse the pro audio products with car audio gear.
Having moved to the newly christened moniker JDK on August 17, 2009, API has changed the brand's website accordingly. Visitors to arsenalaudio.com are now greeted with a succinct message:
Thank you for your interest in API's professional audio products. Unfortunately, API no longer manufactures products under the "ARSENAL AUDIO" or "ARSENAL AUDIO by API" trademarks. Those products are marketed by API under a different trademark. API made this change as a result of a lawsuit brought by JVC Americas Corp., in which it claimed API's use of the word ARSENAL constituted an infringement of JVC's ARSENAL trademark for its car stereos. The case has been settled amicably. You may now find API's new line of professional audio products by clicking here.
With the lawsuit now a thing of the past, Droppa is looking ahead to brighter times for the fledgling line of pro audio equipment: "We're moving ahead, continuing to develop new product, including something new that we'll be debuting at AES. In fact, the change to 'JDK' may help broaden the appeal of the line."