DVForge Cancels PodBuddy Over Patent Disagreement

DVForge Inc. on Monday said that it will not ship its previously announced PodBuddy because of a patent disagreement with Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) over that companyis TransPod. Both products mount an iPod in the useris car and simultaneously charge it while playing music over an FM frequency on the caris stereo; however, one TransPod model uses a cassette adapter and one PodBuddy version doesnit play music over a car stereo. A statement provided by DVForge CEO Jack Campbell said: "We have been informed by DLO that they consider our PodBuddy to be an infringement of their companyis U.S. patent #6,591,085, and, that they will file suit against us, if we launch the PodBuddy."

While DVForge disagrees with DLO, the company also said that it is "not able to fund the sort of protracted legal battle that would be required to prove our point in court. So, we are forced to kill the PodBuddy." Mr. Campbell added: "I have offered [DLO CEO Jeff Grady] all of our development work, prototypes, production tooling, intellectual property releases, several purchase orders we have here from national buyers, and, our entire list of email inquiries from folks like you. Our price to Jeff? Only the US$23,000 we have invested in just the hard injection mold tooling. His answer? No way. He is not interested."

This cancellation affects DVForgeis PodBuddy, PodBuddy FM and PodBuddy FM Ltd. products. The first only charges the iPod while the design of the third matches the iPod U2 Special Edition. The first would have sold for $69.99 while the others would have sold for $99.99 each. DLOis TransPod is available in a $69.99 version that uses a cassette adapter to play music and a $99.99 version that uses an FM transmitter. The company also sells versions of the TransPod for use with older iPods.