While we still are uncertain what Apple will be doing with Beats after acquiring them, it looks like Apple might have a new problem to face as a result. Bose, known for specializing in audio equipment, has sued Apple-owned Beats over patents relating to noise-canceling headphones.
According to the complaint, Beats has allegedly infringed on Bose technology is covered by at least 36 of Bose’s patents; (Of those 36 patents, 14 are patent applications still undergoing review). This infringement has upset Bose, who alleges to have spent 50 years of research and development on noise-canceling equipment.
Bose first developed noise-canceling headphones after the company founder, Dr. Amar Bose, wanted a headset that could cut out cabin noise on flights. Besides including the rest of the history of their noise-canceling technology, Bose also cited their existing QuietComfort consumer headphones and their work in development of similar technology for military purposes as part of their grounds for their complaint.
The complaint against Beats lists five patents that are being infringed upon by Beats’ Studio line of products. These patents are:
- 8,073,151: “Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology”
- 8,073,150: “Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology”
- 6,717,537: “Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems”
- 8,345,888: “Digital high frequency phase compensation”
- 8,054,992: “High frequency compensating”
Bose is seeking an injunction against continued infringement, determination of willful infringement and compensation accordingly, full account of sales of infringing devices, compensation for damages and court costs, and other relief as determined by the court.
While not specifically including Apple in this case, Apple itself is no stranger to legal battles. For years, Apple has fought against Samsung and other tech giants over patents. It looks like their new acquisition isn’t immune to these, either.