Roland Wins Huge Lawsuit Protecting Their IP

This is HUGE news. inMusic is also the parent company of Akai, Alesis, Rane, Numark, and many other brands.

Interesting to see what the repercussions of this are going to be throughout the industry. Looking at you, B@hringer. Maybe its only a matter of time till all these cheap knock-offs are going to be sold as “lawsuit” editions :rofl:


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I’ll be very suspicious if the price of MPCs go up all of a sudden… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Slow and steady wins the race.


I think since copying is the business purpose of Behringer, they must have expert lawyers in IP to avoid suits.

Interesting. For anyone else who like me is just hearing about this, the infringements appear to be hardware- related rather than software-related…

List of patents:

One of a few I googled:


I believe the mesh head and sensor tech was taken from the V Drums. As for the B3@ringer Roland might not bother because the V Drums market is more profitable for them than drum machines.

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Eh, this is specifically about patents around how current V-Drums systems work. Critical to this is that in the US and other countries, patents have a limit of 20 years, and the V-Drums patents were still within that timeframe.

This has no bearing at all on TR-series stuff from 40 years ago. Behringer and every other 808 clone maker out there are completely unaffected by this ruling.


Yes, but what about them also blatantly copying the Moog Mother-32 or the Grandmother? They’ve copied more recent designs as well.

The lawsuit was not for Alesis copying V-Drums as a whole instrument, but very specific technology used in the production of V-Drums. This is much easier to list as a patent and to prove infringement.
When Behringer copy an analog monosynth, they are combining elements (oscilators, filters of various types etc.), none of which are proprietary and it is really hard to get clear-cut proof that Behringer didn’t or couldn’t come up with the design independently. Just because it is obvious, doesn’t mean it stands up in court.


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It really depends on whether Moog has any defensible patents on the architecture of either of those. I kind of doubt they do; as clever as the Mother-32’s architecture may be, it’s not really the kind of “invention” that translates well into a patent application.

Did they copy the grandmother? I haven’t seen that one. I know they have a DFAM type clone in the works.

I think the CRAVE is largely a rip of the Mother 32

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Yeah I know the crave is the Mother-32 but they said they did a Grandmother clone as well. And they have an unreleased Crave format DFAM clone which was what I was referring to, forgot the name though.

EDGE is the next one, the horrible raspberry-coloured one.


Jesus Christ lol.

Like, I have no problem with cloning old synths. I don’t get why people buy them cuz shit like the Arturia V collection exists but whatever.

But cloning active production synths is bullshit.

I also just don’t like that they basically provide no innovation to the industry. They made things cheap. Neat. But they aren’t doing anything new which is what I personally look for when buying synths.

Oh well, don’t need to go down this hole again…


Unfortunately, given the speed that the US justice system works, it will be several years till we see anything happen in terms of Behringer. Given that they are also a German company, there might be limited things that Moog and the courts here can even do. But yes, I agree, it’s pretty sad to see a company so blatantly steal another company’s ideas. I’m sure it happens all the time in other industries as well and is just far less visible.

I’m not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice. But I’ve worked in the software industry in the US for all of my adult life and followed it closely through my teens:

  1. $4.5M is a tiny fine. Roland’s and inMusic’s lawyers probably cost the two companies more than that.
  2. The most likely outcome from this incident is that music companies will spend more money on lawyers to secure patents to use defensively. If InMusic had a larger patent portfolio, they could have responded to Roland by pointing out where Roland infringed on their patents, and then settled with a patent cross-licensing agreement. Again, the lawyers are the winners here.
  3. In 2013, the US switched from first-to-invent to first-to-file. That means that if no one has filed a patent on the step sequencer, someone could file a patent for step sequencers and then sue everyone in sight. Prior art does not matter.
  4. Patents are expensive - back in 2008 or so, the rule of thumb within large software companies was that an international patent cost about $200k and 1-2 years to obtain.
  5. You can get a provisional patent for a small (<$1000, last I checked) fee, and use that as leverage to sell your tech/company to a larger company who will then complete the filing.


  • Lawyers are the big winners here
  • Small / boutique companies are going to be the big losers here. B* almost certainly has a large pile of patents that they can cross-license with Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Focusrite, etc.

I’m sure I’m saying nothing new here but Moog are a well-established company with an inextricable connection to the history of electronic music, there is always going to be a secure market for their products and they charge a premium based on the the name. People want a real MOOG and the “mojo” and they will pay for that. MOOG is in no danger of being undercut by Behringer’s knock offs because the vast majority of people who can’t afford a MOOG are going to get whatever else is available at a lower price and eventually they might still save up for a real MOOG anyway. MOOGs are manufactured in the US but are probably, for the most part constructed from Chinese parts… the enclosures appear to be identical to Behringer’s as far as I can see. Analog synthesizer technology is not new, it has been around for a long time and is open source already so can’t really be patented. One manufacturer copying another manufacturer’s product and selling it for less is nothing new, nobody gives a shit about vacuum cleaners being copied but synths are different… why?
Behringer have made machines accessible to people who would otherwise have no access to such things. I personally have 5 Behringers and I get a lot of use out of them and satisfaction that my money was well-spent, I’m just hoping that in future Behringer will put more focus more on their own designs because they have produced two blinders already with the DeepMind and the Neutron although the graphics team need a very hard kck up the arse for that. Sorry if I have offended anyone.

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