RØDE is facing a legal battle in the U.S. after Zaxcom filed a legal claim for infringements of its patents. The claim relates to some of the RØDE wireless microphone systems.
What has Zaxcom done?
On October 31st, Zaxcom filed a claim for patent infringement against RØDE in Delaware. The documents were filed in Delaware because that is where RØDE operates in the U.S. Zaxcom is also suing Freedman Electronics Pty Ltd as a codefendant. Freedman Electronics is the Australian parent company of RØDE in the U.S.
What do Zaxcom’s patents cover?
Zaxcom holds several patents related to virtual wireless multitrack recording systems. The earliest of these was filed in 2010 and lasts until 2030. These patents protect wireless systems that “allow locally generated audio to be both locally and remotely recorded with timestamp data.” This means a wireless audio system where the transmitter packs can record audio and send it to a remote receiver. It also covers timecoded recordings made by the transmitters.
Which RØDE products are affected?
Zaxcom alleges RØDE has infringed several of its patents “by using, selling, and/or offering for sale certain electronic audio equipment.” The claim also specifically cites the RØDE Wireless Go II and RØDE Wireless Pro wireless microphone systems as examples of the infringing products. In addition, Zaxcom sent cease and desist letters to RØDE in March 2021 and August 2023.
What does Zaxcom want?
The claim asks the court to issue an injunction prohibiting the sale and distribution of the Wireless Go II and Wireless Pro. The company has also asked for an order requiring RØDE to give any infringing products to the court for destruction. In addition, Zaxcom wants damages to compensate the company for its losses and as a punishment for RØDE, along with all of its legal costs.
Zaxcom has requested that its legal claim be decided by a jury trial. This will presumably take some time to arrange, especially as one of the defendants is based in Australia. At the time of writing, RØDE hasn’t issued a statement or response to being sued. However, the Zaxcom patent only covers the U.S., so sales of Wireless Go II and Wireless Pro anywhere else in the world are unaffected by the legal action.
What we think
Zaxcom has strongly defended its patents in the past. Therefore, it’s surprising that RØDE decided to sell products that appear to infringe them. Previously, Deity had to license the use of Zaxcom’s patents to sell its Connect UHF Wireless systems in the U.S. However, RØDE has had two years since the initial cease and desist letter to negotiate an agreement with Zaxcom. The Wireless Go II and Wireless Pro are great microphone systems, so it would be a shame if they disappeared from the U.S. Hopefully, Zaxcom and RØDE can come to a compromise that keeps both companies happy.