AIWA - a brand reborn?
Mar 7, 2019 at 2:10 PM Post #61 of 70

AmericanEDC

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My problem with them is not in the product they make but in the way they used to "acquire" the name "read the court document". They just profited from the reputation of Aiwa to sell their product and now they are blocking Aiwa japan from re-entering the US market. Even if they are not making junk product they should have created their own original brand and work to build a reputation for it in the US but instead they decided to misappropriate the company brand even if the company was dormant and used the existing reputation of Sony's Aiwa for their own gain.

"Quote: as per court document: In 2014, Defendants Thomann and Hale filed several fraudulent trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) falsely stating they were entitled to exclusive rights in the AIWA Mark"

"Quote: Defendants thereafter began a public relations campaign in which they falsely claimed to have purchased the rights in the AIWA Mark from Sony. For example, the Chicago Tribune reported as follows: “Mark Thomann, CEO of Chicago-based River West Brands (or whomever), said he spotted Aiwa in 2013, bought the rights to it and secured the trademark.” See Exhibit A, Chicago Tribune, How Aiwa, a former global stereo brand, is getting resurrected in Chicago,
March 11, 2015. Such fraudulent and deceptive conduct has even prompted the following information to be published on the AIWA entry in Wikipedia: “In 2015, Dormitus Brands, a Chicago-based brand acquisition company run by Mark Thomann, acquired the rights for the Aiwa brand and trademark from Sony.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiwa#cite_note-16)."

(Edited: glad to see clarification by Aiwa below.)

I’m not affiliated with Aiwa at all.
But I must point out that you are conflating “River West Brands” and Joe Born (and company).

Honestly you sound ill informed. You complain about the current Aiwa USA and then quote a lawsuit that THEY had nothing whatsoever to do with as I understand it.

Joe Born purchased the name from River West Brands. Of course they would block any entities from using the brand in the USA where they own the rights to the Trademark.

If I buy a trademark of course I will defend it against illegal use.
 
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Mar 7, 2019 at 3:31 PM Post #62 of 70

Zapp_Fan

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My problem with them is not in the product they make but in the way they used to "acquire" the name "read the court document". They just profited from the reputation of Aiwa to sell their product and now they are blocking Aiwa japan from re-entering the US market. Even if they are not making junk product they should have created their own original brand and work to build a reputation for it in the US but instead they decided to misappropriate the company brand even if the company was dormant and used the existing reputation of Sony's Aiwa for their own gain.

"Quote: as per court document: In 2014, Defendants Thomann and Hale filed several fraudulent trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) falsely stating they were entitled to exclusive rights in the AIWA Mark"

"Quote: Defendants thereafter began a public relations campaign in which they falsely claimed to have purchased the rights in the AIWA Mark from Sony. For example, the Chicago Tribune reported as follows: “Mark Thomann, CEO of Chicago-based River West Brands, said he spotted Aiwa in 2013, bought the rights to it and secured the trademark.” See Exhibit A, Chicago Tribune, How Aiwa, a former global stereo brand, is getting resurrected in Chicago,
March 11, 2015. Such fraudulent and deceptive conduct has even prompted the following information to be published on the AIWA entry in Wikipedia: “In 2015, Dormitus Brands, a Chicago-based brand acquisition company run by Mark Thomann, acquired the rights for the Aiwa brand and trademark from Sony.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiwa#cite_note-16)."

Hi, sorry, I have been very lax about staying on top of head-fi posts lately and I apologize for that.

I can't comment in too much detail obviously, as the case is ongoing, but the trademark filings we made were in no way fraudulent - if they were, they would have been overturned years ago. We got the rights to the trademark without buying them directly from Sony, because Sony allowed the trademarks to expire and thereby lost the legal right to use them. Later, they sold some un-expired rights in other countries to other firms. It may be said, those firms have as little historical connection to the original Aiwa as our company. The Aiwa Japan you're referring to is actually just like us, newly using the name - (they actually started using it a couple years after we did) - they just happen to be Japanese.

Those firms have sought to challenge us, but that doesn't mean they're "real" and we're "fake", or vice-versa. It may be counter-intuitive, but all (three plus) of the companies calling themselves Aiwa have a legal right to do so in their respective territories.

Even though our competitor's court filing accuses us of this and that, we've never committed fraud or attempted to deceive anyone, I have to be extremely clear on that point.

As I've said elsewhere, I don't believe you have to find the re-launching of a known brand to be a positive thing. Opinions on this vary, and although it's a common practice, you don't have to like it. But I think it's fair to say we have consistently tried to do this in a way that makes our intentions and background clear.
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 5:35 PM Post #63 of 70

Dobrescu George

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Hi, sorry, I have been very lax about staying on top of head-fi posts lately and I apologize for that.

I can't comment in too much detail obviously, as the case is ongoing, but the trademark filings we made were in no way fraudulent - if they were, they would have been overturned years ago. We got the rights to the trademark without buying them directly from Sony, because Sony allowed the trademarks to expire and thereby lost the legal right to use them. Later, they sold some un-expired rights in other countries to other firms. It may be said, those firms have as little historical connection to the original Aiwa as our company. The Aiwa Japan you're referring to is actually just like us, newly using the name - (they actually started using it a couple years after we did) - they just happen to be Japanese.

Those firms have sought to challenge us, but that doesn't mean they're "real" and we're "fake", or vice-versa. It may be counter-intuitive, but all (three plus) of the companies calling themselves Aiwa have a legal right to do so in their respective territories.

Even though our competitor's court filing accuses us of this and that, we've never committed fraud or attempted to deceive anyone, I have to be extremely clear on that point.

As I've said elsewhere, I don't believe you have to find the re-launching of a known brand to be a positive thing. Opinions on this vary, and although it's a common practice, you don't have to like it. But I think it's fair to say we have consistently tried to do this in a way that makes our intentions and background clear.

I like the fact that AIWA is honest about it here tho :)

Well, from my understanding, if the original brand at some point went away, and it came back, then it is more or less okay. As far as I understand all of the new AIWA had a connection to the old AIWA, so they are all AIWA :)
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 5:53 PM Post #64 of 70

Zapp_Fan

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Thanks. We really think that it would backfire if we try to hide anything. This thread is a good example. @Nirmalr7 was able to find court documents that seem dramatic or at least interesting upon a cursory reading. Another TM holder is accusing us of all sorts of things. If we had been misrepresenting our company history, these court documents would probably make us look pretty bad. As it is, I don't mind explaining them, and we don't need to change our story one bit. I personally find the honest route much less stressful.

At any rate, it might be useful or at least interesting to lay out the brief history of the brand from the beginning:
  • 1951: Aiwa Founded
  • 1969: Sony buys majority stake in Aiwa
  • 2002: Aiwa factories shut down, Aiwa merges with Sony
  • 2008: Aiwa brand shut down completely by Sony, no longer used in commerce
  • 2014: Aiwa trademark registration in US expires due to non-use, Dormitus registers to use the brand and transfers it to (now) Aiwa Corporation, formerly Hale Devices, based in US
  • 2015: Aiwa Corporation launches Exos-9 in US
  • 2017: A new Aiwa Japan launches (formerly known as Towada)
You might consider the connection to the "old" Aiwa to have ceased either in 2002, 2008, or 2014, but in any case, all Aiwas in existence today are "new".
 
Mar 7, 2019 at 6:24 PM Post #65 of 70

Dobrescu George

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Thanks. We really think that it would backfire if we try to hide anything. This thread is a good example. @Nirmalr7 was able to find court documents that seem dramatic or at least interesting upon a cursory reading. Another TM holder is accusing us of all sorts of things. If we had been misrepresenting our company history, these court documents would probably make us look pretty bad. As it is, I don't mind explaining them, and we don't need to change our story one bit. I personally find the honest route much less stressful.

At any rate, it might be useful or at least interesting to lay out the brief history of the brand from the beginning:
  • 1951: Aiwa Founded
  • 1969: Sony buys majority stake in Aiwa
  • 2002: Aiwa factories shut down, Aiwa merges with Sony
  • 2008: Aiwa brand shut down completely by Sony, no longer used in commerce
  • 2014: Aiwa trademark registration in US expires due to non-use, Dormitus registers to use the brand and transfers it to (now) Aiwa Corporation, formerly Hale Devices, based in US
  • 2015: Aiwa Corporation launches Exos-9 in US
  • 2017: A new Aiwa Japan launches (formerly known as Towada)
You might consider the connection to the "old" Aiwa to have ceased either in 2002, 2008, or 2014, but in any case, all Aiwas in existence today are "new".

Woah, really nice to give us those insights.

Interesting history. I think everyone is looking forward to the new AIWA then! :)
 
Mar 8, 2019 at 2:52 AM Post #66 of 70

nofarewell

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Thanks. We really think that it would backfire if we try to hide anything. This thread is a good example. @Nirmalr7 was able to find court documents that seem dramatic or at least interesting upon a cursory reading. Another TM holder is accusing us of all sorts of things. If we had been misrepresenting our company history, these court documents would probably make us look pretty bad. As it is, I don't mind explaining them, and we don't need to change our story one bit. I personally find the honest route much less stressful.

At any rate, it might be useful or at least interesting to lay out the brief history of the brand from the beginning:
  • 1951: Aiwa Founded
  • 1969: Sony buys majority stake in Aiwa
  • 2002: Aiwa factories shut down, Aiwa merges with Sony
  • 2008: Aiwa brand shut down completely by Sony, no longer used in commerce
  • 2014: Aiwa trademark registration in US expires due to non-use, Dormitus registers to use the brand and transfers it to (now) Aiwa Corporation, formerly Hale Devices, based in US
  • 2015: Aiwa Corporation launches Exos-9 in US
  • 2017: A new Aiwa Japan launches (formerly known as Towada)
You might consider the connection to the "old" Aiwa to have ceased either in 2002, 2008, or 2014, but in any case, all Aiwas in existence today are "new".

Thanks! On a vaguely similar note, it is sad to see how sony ruined the former trade in the early 2000s.
If I now had the opportunity to get all the aiwa earphones from 1980 to 1995, I'd get them V series, X series....
 
Apr 1, 2021 at 2:54 PM Post #67 of 70

droido256

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I didn’t even know Aiwa was back in any way shape or form. I was poking around Amazon, looking for a new bt speaker for weekend fire pit and beer time, as my soundlink 2 is starting to grow long in the tooth. Checking out the Wharfedales..... and reading the not so stellar reviews on them. Then the Aiwa exos 3 popped up and I had to do a double take. Apparently Aiwa is reborn in the US, and while still growing their flight wings from what I see, their exos 9 is gathering a rave cult following, soooo a bit of nostalgia hit, and well should be getting a black exos 3 Saturday. From the various reviews I’ve been seeing, they’re def not a name thrown on cheapo junk, but I’ll see for sure Saturday. I signed up for Aiwa lab, and am interested to see where this company goes.
I always loved Aiwa. As a 8 year old who wanted good audio, yet didn’t have hardly any money, forget affording AKG, Beyer, or something on the level of Audeze. Aiwa did the trick. Affordable, yet blasted excellent sound ( I had a cassette player, a CD player, several of their headphones, and for Christmas when I was 15 got a damn good bookshelf system that I still have. So Aiwa was a good forming foundation for my love of audio equipment. Def good to see them back. Hopefully they’re Tokyo good.
 
Apr 3, 2021 at 11:29 PM Post #69 of 70

droido256

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Ok, the exos 3 sounds pretty damn good to me, it seems pretty balanced. There’s nice heft to the midrange, the tweeter provides sharp highs, the bass is quite song dependent. However the full range drivers with the radiators can go very low when called for. It retains that nice classic Aiwa signature. Don’t bring me down from ELO sounds amazing. However, the exos 3 pulls out every detail, so badly recorded music will have allllll the flaws showing up. Still awaiting for the battery to fully charge as I’m listening to it, the battery in this thing is huuuuge. Sheesh wish I found this before I bought the Bose. Sounds better, bigger battery, and 50 bucks cheaper to boot. However I don’t have anything bad to say about the Bose, it owes me nothing. 6 years of good service.
 
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Jul 14, 2021 at 3:16 PM Post #70 of 70

droido256

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Ok, the exos 3 sounds pretty damn good to me, it seems pretty balanced. There’s nice heft to the midrange, the tweeter provides sharp highs, the bass is quite song dependent. However the full range drivers with the radiators can go very low when called for. It retains that nice classic Aiwa signature. Don’t bring me down from ELO sounds amazing. However, the exos 3 pulls out every detail, so badly recorded music will have allllll the flaws showing up. Still awaiting for the battery to fully charge as I’m listening to it, the battery in this thing is huuuuge. Sheesh wish I found this before I bought the Bose. Sounds better, bigger battery, and 50 bucks cheaper to boot. However I don’t have anything bad to say about the Bose, it owes me nothing. 6 years of good service.
A update after a few months of use. The battery lasts hella long, sounds great with every song I pump through it. This thing is LOUD. The only eh drawback which doesn’t amount to much is the bottom gets pretty warm from I guessing the amp. Connection is a little bit slow to fully engage, maybe 5 seconds from power on. Eh big whoop. It does seem to go with that 90’s Aiwa boombox kinda sound signature that I’ve been pining for.
Based on the sound of this, decided to give the Prodigy air max a try. For 80 bucks can’t really complain if it isn’t perfect.
 

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