“Avid’s business practices are placing at risk the lives of animals whose owners have purchased RFID (radio frequency identification) chips for the very purpose of protecting their pets” according to the lawsuit filed by Crystal Import Corp. of Birmingham, Alabama. The microchip manufacturer filed the lawsuit Dec. 29 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division.
The lawsuit seeks no less than $10 million in damages and to force Avid to make its microchip encryption code public. The lawsuit – which charges antitrust violations, unfair competition, illegal monopolization, as well as deceptive acts and practices – also seeks to enjoin the companies from making further false and misleading statements that will deceive pet owners.
The lawsuit charges that Avid has used encryption technology and conspired with Digital Angel to keep 134.2 kHz microchip technology – which is used through most of the rest of the world and endorsed by the Internal Standards Organization – out of the United States to the detriment of Pets and Pet owners. The lawsuit alleges scanners used by animal shelters and veterinarians cannot read the encrypted 125 kHz Avid microchips unless supplied with encryption algorithm – a mathematical code – from Avid. The lawsuit states that Avid has provided the code to Digital Angel, but has refused to provide it to Crystal Tag and other companies that sell ISO-compliant chips.
“There is no technological necessity, cost benefit, manufacturing advantage or public benefit from Avid’s use of this encryption technology. Avid’s encryption of its chips is intended solely to exclude competitors and prospective competitors,” the lawsuit states.”
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