New York (May 2, 2011)—MI/Pro Audio titans Peavey Electronics and the Music Group waged a contentious war of words as each filed lawsuits against the other for a variety of claimed wrongdoings.
Late Thursday, the Music Group–the corporate parent for Midas, Klark Teknik, Behringer and Bugera–announced it had filed suit in U.S. District Court against Peavey Electronic Corporation for false advertising, false patent marking and unfair competition. The company alleged that Peavey intentionally mislabeled its products in the U.S. market in regards to compliance with government laws and FCC regulations, and further claimed “7 out of 10 Peavey products tested emit electromagnetic radiation in excess of current government standards.”
Peavey responded late Friday, releasing a statement that it had “initiated multiple actions against Behringer for various intellectual property issues, including patent infringement, false marking, trademark infringement and unfair competition.” Peavey noted that it already had a number of lawsuits pending against Behringer, some filed as far back as 2009, accusing that company of patent infringement, federal and common law trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition. Accordingly, Peavey characterized Music Group’s new legal filing as a “baseless, retaliatory lawsuit.”
Music Group’s senior vice president of Marketing, Costa Lakoumentas, stated his company’s view, noting, “The Music Group has invested millions of dollars in comprehensive testing and compliance labs and in quality control programs to ensure its products are in full compliance with all regulatory standards. Additionally, we also go well beyond the requirements of U.S. regulations by certifying our products through the UL Safety Standards process, thus ensuring our products are safe for consumers. Compliance with federal regulations and safety are top priorities in the Music Group, and we expect other companies in the market place to take these matters as seriously as we do.”
Peavey’s Bienstock refuted Music Group’s claims, noting that they came from a competitor and not a governmental agency, adding, “During its entire 46-year history, Peavey has always taken its responsibility to comply with governmental requirements seriously. Peavey engages in rigorous testing to ensure its products meet or exceed regulatory requirements.” Underlining his client’s take on the nature of Music Group’s lawsuit, Bienstock added, “Peavey strongly believes in intellectual property rights and will not be dissuaded by Behringer or anyone else from enforcing those rights.”
The Music Group