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AMERICAN COMPANY SUES JAPANESE ELECTRONICS GIANT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

 AMERICAN COMPANY SUES JAPANESE ELECTRONICS GIANT
 FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT
 BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- SAS(R), the American maker of one of the world's most innovative car speaker systems, has sued Japense-owned Pioneer Electronics -- the world's largest autosound company -- for patent infringement.
 SAS, which manufactures the Bazooka(R) Bass Tube(R) speaker system, filed the suit Friday in federal court in Baton Route where the company's corporate headquarters are located.
 The suit alleges Pioneer, and a Baton Rouge dealer of Pioneer car audio equipment, infringed on the patent of the Bazooka with its tube-shaped sub woofer. The Japanese manufacturer calls its tube sub woofer "sub-cylinders." Pioneer began marketing its sub-cylinders in September.
 SAS President Jon Jordan said it is his company's obligation to protect its rights under the patent laws of the United States.
 "We intend to protect our rights vigorously," he said. Patent attorney David Kiesel of Roy, Kiesel, Aaron and Tucker of Baton Rouge, is handling the case for SAS. Kiesel would not say whether SAS is seeking royalty payments from Pioneer, or attempting to eliminate Pioneer's tube sub woofer from the market.
 Sub woofers reproduce low musical frequenices, known as bass. The Bazooka reproduces bass more clearly and efficiently than any product of its size because of its unique design. Tube sub woofers do not take up much space in a vehicle, which is important since space efficiency is a primary concern for consumers. SAS's Bazooka, the first tube sub woofer on the market, created an entirely new product category for the industry. SAS began marketing the Bazooka in 1985. Jordan, who dropped out of college and drove more than 100,000 miles introducing the Bazooka to dealers in a mini-pickup truck with his mother's credit card as his only source of financing for the trip, has built SAS into one of America's 500 fastest growing privately-held companies (INC. Magazine 1991, No. 132) primarily because of the innovative Bazooka.
 Shortly after SAS introduced the Bazooka, the Consumer Electronics industry selected the speaker system, "One of the Most Innovative Products of the Year for its Design and Engineering."
 A U.S. patent was granted on the Bazooka's design in 1986. Car audio dealers said the Bazooka attracts consumers otherwise satisfied with their improved factory sound systems, as well as car audio enthusiasts enamored with elaborate system designs.
 Overall, car audio equipment, which makes up about 30 percent of Pioneer's sales, has experienced flattened growth since automakers in Detroit and Japan began installing more elaborate stereo systems at the factory a few years ago.
 The Bazooka has thrived alongside OEM improvement because it offers a practical and most noticeable addition to the automakers' modernized sound systems. Several companies, including Pioneer, followed SAS into the tube sub woofer market.
 Bazooka sales have increased steadily for the past six years, according to SAS.
 -0- 2/21/92
 /CONTACT: Todd Horne of SAS, 504-272-7145 or 504-291-3284/ CO: SAS; Pioneer Electronics ST: Louisiana IN: CPR AUT SU:


BR-TG -- AT010 -- 1519 02/21/92 16:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 21, 1992
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