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Audiovox settles patent lawsuit

Patrick Lavelle, president and chief executive of Audiovox,

Patrick Lavelle, president and chief executive of Audiovox, of Hauppauge, an electronics products distributor. (June 2010) Credit: Newsday, 2010

Hauppauge-based Audiovox Electronics Corp. says in a news release that it has won a favorable decision in a patent licensing case in Suffolk County Supreme Court, in Riverhead.

Audiovox, an automotive and consumer electronics maker, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Voxx International Corp., traded on the Nasdaq.

The case involved how long Audiovox was obligated to make payments to another company, Mpeg LA Llc.

“The jury found in favor of Audiovox Electronics Corp. ruling that AEC was not responsible for the period Sept. 1, 2000, to Sept. 30, 2006,” Audiovox said in the Thursday news release.

“The Company will make payments to Mpeg LA for the period October 2006-September 2009 and expects to be reimbursed by its suppliers for these payments,” the company said.

"Our company respects intellectual property rights and stands by our agreements with our partners,” Patrick Lavelle, the Voxx chief executive, said in the statement. “We have and continue to take aggressive steps to protect our own intellectual property and will vigorously defend our position when we believe we are correct.”

A Tuesday news release on the same subject from Mpeg LA, a Denver, Colo., company, was titled “Jury Awards Mpeg LA Damages in Breach of Contract Lawsuit against Audiovox.” 

Mpeg's news release said, “a jury found Audiovox in breach of the Mpeg-2 License and awarded Mpeg LA damages on a portion of Audiovox's unpaid sales; Mpeg LA will pursue payment for the remainder.”

The companies did not disclose the amount of the damages awarded.

Dueling press releases from each company described the verdict in favorable terms for the issuing company. Shares of Voxx rose after the news releases.

Voxx shares closed Wednesday at $7.26, and Mpeg LA, a non-publicly traded limited liability corporation based in Denver, Colo., issued its news release after the market close that day.

Thursday morning, before the market opened, Voxx released its own news release at 8 a.m.; its shares closed that day at $7.38, up 12 cents.

On Friday, Voxx shares rose another $0.28 to $7.66 in midday trading.

Photo shows Patrick Lavelle, the Voxx chief executive

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