The rhetoric intensified in a legal dispute between AMX and former partners in the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) space, as the accused parties vehemently denied any wrongdoing and fired their own allegations back at AMX.
A week and half ago, AMX sued rival Crestron’s newly exclusive MDU partners, Cimax USA and Vertical Integration Group (VIG), among other parties, for racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and theft of trade secrets. The federal lawsuit claims “interference with AMX business and breaches of fiduciary duties.” AMX filed suit “based on various fraudulent acts and to enjoin the defendants from disclosing AMX trade secrets,” the company said.
The suit is the end result of a relationship gone extremely sour. AMX announced in November 2004 that Cimax would integrate AMX’s Amenities Solution, an automation system that connects residents with various hospitality services via touchpanels, at three Miami Beach properties. However, Crestron last month announced that Cimax and VIG had become its exclusive partners to sell MDU products, at which time Cimax/VIG Co-Owner George Fallica took a veiled shot at AMX, saying, “We had difficulty finding a vendor/supplier that could deliver the technology [developers] demanded. After research, we came to the conclusion that Crestron is the clear choice [for home automation integration] based on their superior technology as well as their support and responsiveness to address the needs and visions of developers.”
Last week, Cimax/VIG said the AMX suit is “void of any factual allegations of wrongdoing and relies on a crutch of speculations.” Calling AMX’s press release about the suit “libelous,” it emphatically denied all claims of wrongdoing and said it will ask the judge to dismiss what it calls a “frivolous” and “meritless” suit. Cimax/VIG characterized AMX’s action as an “obvious smear tactic,” saying AMX “has in the most shameless manner attempted to discredit Cimax. Besides distributing the libelous release, AMX has been contacting Cimax’s clients and business partners directly—clearly a ploy to ruin Cimax/VIG client relationships.”