Bose sues Beats over headphone patents

Martyn Williams
28 July, 2014
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Apple-and-Beats-deal-thumb-macworld-ausHeadphone maker Bose has launched a patent-infringement lawsuit against rival Beats Electronics, which Apple recently agreed to acquire in a US$3 billion dollar deal. In its complaint, Bose alleges that the “active noise cancellation” system in Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones infringes on five of its patents that relate to digital audio processing, compression and noise cancellation technology. They are US patents 6,717,537; 8,073,150; 8,073,151; 8,054,992; and 8,345,888.

In addition to the suit, which was filed in Delaware, the company also lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission asking the trade court to ban Beats from importing the headphones into the United states. Companies are increasingly filing lawsuits with the ITC in addition to the domestic court system in the hopes an import injunction will provide extra leverage when it comes to negotiations over alleged infringement.

The lawsuit comes just under two months after the Apple deal was announced. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of September, and it’s unknown if the lawsuit could change that schedule or the acquisition price.

Apple and Beats did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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