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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations 162

Bose has taken issue with some of the technology embodied in products in Apple's newly acquired Beats line of headphones. As Ars Technica reports, Bose is suing Apple, claiming that the Beats products violate five Bose patents, covering noise cancellation and signal processing Although Bose never mentions Apple in the 22-page complaint, the acquisition price of the private company may have played a part in spurring Bose to sue. The suit doesn't include a specific damage demand. Bose has also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against Beats over the same infringement claims. That means the patent lawsuit filed in federal court will be stayed while the ITC case gets resolved first.
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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

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  • Re:Typical (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:01AM (#47541847)

    Maybe, but as a guy who writes DSP software for a living, I took a look at that first patent and there's nothing original or creative about it that could possibly justify a patent -- and Bose must have known that when they filed it. I bet the USPTO clerk didn't have a fucking clue about DSP and was just impressed by fancy words. "Minimizing latency" my ass.

  • Re:Typical (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:04AM (#47541851)

    "Those who can't create, litigate" --- who does this remind you of over last 2-3 years? Funny to see Apple whine about plays outta their OWN playbook

    A stupid post replying to an equally stupid post.

    I thought Google was the patent troll, trying to get four billion dollars from Microsoft for h.264 related software patents and ending up having to pay Microsoft's bills. And there is Samsung threatened with a 13 billion Euro fine if they don't stop patent trolling in Europe.

    In this case, Apple just has bought Beats, and has surely not done anything to infringe on Bose's patents. And from the description of these patents, they seem to be rather concrete and it should be not too difficult to find out if someone is infringing or not.

  • Re:Typical (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:21AM (#47541883)

    This is bit dated, but still quite relevant, The Bose FAQ [archive.org] from archive.org as latest version seem to have disappeared few years back from net.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:29AM (#47541895) Homepage Journal

    Bose: They have infringed on our patents for crappy sound reproduction!

    Beats/Apple: Crap! We got nothin'! We weren't expecting them to play the "blunt honesty" card!

  • Re:Typical (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:37AM (#47542029)
    Bose specifically alleges that Beats infringed on five US patents: patent 6,717,537, titled “Method and Apparatus for Minimizing Latency in Digital Signal Processing Systems;” patent 8,073,150, a “Dynamically Configurable ANR Signal Processing Topology;” patent 8,073,151, a “Dynamically Configurable ANR Filter Block Technology;” patent 8,054,992, which specifies a method for high frequency compensating; and patent 8,345,888, which covers “Digital High Frequency Phase Compensation.”
  • by robbak ( 775424 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:42AM (#47542047) Homepage

    The thing that commenters over at Ars haven't picked up on - this patent is only infringed if the customer wears the headphones without playing music. Noise cancellation with added music - OK, there's prior art for that. Turn the music off - it becomes patentable technology.

    The claim states that Bose is on the hook because their documentation states that you can use the headphones without music for noise cancellation only, which induces their customers to infringe Bose's patents.

    How is that legit? How can not adding music create a patentable technology?

  • Re:Typical (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:34AM (#47542293) Homepage
    I can see why you think Dr. Dre is such a brilliant technilogical innovator and all, what with the "Dr." in his fake name and all, but ... you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Dr. Bose [wikipedia.org] (an actual Doctor, with an MIT Doctorate and everything!) is an innovator par excellence. If you go to their administration building at 100 The Mountain Rd. in Framingham Mass you will experience one of the coolest examples of his acoustic innovation. There is a very small word: BOSE set in stone on the floor. If you step on the B or E you will hear an audio reflection, and if you move ever so slightly over the the O and S it is 100% anechoic. All of this is done with zero electronics. Let's see you pull that off :-)

    Just accross the parking lot is the Bose Research Building, where every design must pass a rigorous Design Assurance Engineering process. They have anechoic chambers, speaker torture (long-term testing) rooms where they do up and down, left and right, circular, and random vibration testing, CAD rooms and all kinds of research tools and methods you can't even imagine (e.g. Salt Fog testing for their Marine products)

    In other words, you are about as far off base as a person can be on this one.
  • Re:Typical (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:51AM (#47542371)

    No ... but since any patent acquired in the 70s has long since elapsed, it's literally impossible to sue over work done then.

  • Re:bad vs bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @11:35AM (#47543257) Journal

    Beats (and by extension, apple) is overpriced, overhyped shit. Bose is overpriced, overhyped shit.

    I disagree. I have owned both sets of their "high end" noise cancelling headphones. Neither one is shit. Both are definitely over-hyped and overpriced, but they are not shit.

    When you claim something is shit, you are claiming that it does not do what it says it will do. Both pairs of headphones reproduce the sounds that were intended in a reliable manner. That is a measure of quality. Both pairs of headphones provide some level of consistent noise cancellation. That is a measure of quality.

    The Bose are better than the Beats at noise cancellation. The Beats are better than the Bose at convincing you that you are hearing bass, and slightly better at convincing you that you are hearing treble. Both are 3 times more expensive than a pair of Sennheiser (SP?) headphones that I have that reproduce sounds more like the original sound than the Bose or the Beats. Both pairs (Bose/Beats) sound like... I don't know: Cardboard? The only negative to the Sennheisers is that they do not do noise cancellation and they do not have batteries in them so they eat the battery of my phone. But play a FLAC file through them and OMG, they sound like sex compared to Bose or Beats.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!