Beats sued over ‘noise-cancelling’ headphones

Veteran company Bose Corporation wants to protect its patented technology.


Afp July 27, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO:


Audio technology veteran Bose Corporation sued Beats Electronics over patented technology for cancelling noise in earphones.


The suit filed in federal court in the US state of Delaware pits the 50-year-old firm against an Internet Age youngster being bought by Apple in a deal valued at $3 billion.

“Bose brings this action against Beats to protect its valuable patented technology for noise-canceling headphones,” lawyers for the company said in a copy of the suit obtained by AFP.

Attorneys said they had also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, which has the power to block imports of headsets found to infringe on patented technology. Bose accused Beats of infringing on five of its patents for cutting out unwanted noise in headphones, particularly by cancelling it out with other sound waves. The technology is referred to as active noise reduction.

“Beats has designed the infringing noise canceling functionality to be used automatically when a user is listening to music, and Beats instructs users on how to implement noise canceling functionality when a user only desires noise reduction,” the lawsuit maintained.

Bose called on the court to order Beats to stop using the patented technology and to pay unspecified damages.

Apple in May said it is buying Beats Music and Beats Electronics in a much-hyped deal worth $3 billion. Buying Beats was expected to help Cupertino, California-based Apple, a pioneer in digital music with its wildly popular iTunes platform, ramp up its efforts to counter successful models of streaming services like Pandora, Spotify and others. The deal for the maker of high-end audio equipment and operator of a subscription streaming music service is Apple’s largest acquisition ever.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.

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