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Old Jun 5, 2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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Apple and THX Work to Resolve Speaker Patent Dispute Outside Court




Apple and THX will attempt to solve their speaker patent dispute out of court, reports Bloomberg, after lawyers for the two companies filed a request with the San Francisco federal court to ask for a postponement of a case-management conference scheduled to take place on June 14.

THX, the sound engineering company that was founded by George Lucas, originally sued Apple in March over patented speaker technology that is used in the iMac, iPhone, and iPad product lines. The patent, titled "Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems," pertains to technology most recently used in the new iMac, which features long channels that allow audio to be projected from the bottom edge of the machine.
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THX holds a 2008 patent for a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions, according to a complaint filed in March.*Apple products that incorporate the speaker units infringe the patent, causing "monetary damage and irreparable harm," according to San Rafael, California-based THX.
In the lawsuit, THX asks for a court order to halt the alleged infringement along with a reasonable royalty or damages to compensate for lost profit. The two companies have asked for the case management conference to be postponed until July 26.

Article Link: Apple and THX Work to Resolve Speaker Patent Dispute Outside Court
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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THX Technology would make very good TV speakers then...?
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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lol, irreparable harm... Of course its completely repairable when you get awarded damages and license this "technology"...

God patent trolls suck... And that includes Apple themselves.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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THX can hardly be called a patent troll. Now it seams to me that it wouldn't be hard to invalidate this patent, but it might be better off for Apple to simply pay the royalty and put a THX logo on the box.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sexiewasd View Post
THX can hardly be called a patent troll. Now it seams to me that it wouldn't be hard to invalidate this patent, but it might be better off for Apple to simply pay the royalty and put a THX logo on the box.
There's no way Apple will ever put a THX logo on their product directly, but I can only see putting it on the box as a plus.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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Apple and THX Work to Resolve Speaker Patent Dispute Outside Court
Great!

+1 & THX!

;-)
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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There's no way Apple will ever put a THX logo on their product directly, but I can only see putting it on the box as a plus.
Why not, they did it with Bose in the 90's, remember?
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 02:02 PM   #8
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Apple did many stupid and ugly things in the 90s..
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 02:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sexiewasd View Post
THX can hardly be called a patent troll. Now it seams to me that it wouldn't be hard to invalidate this patent, but it might be better off for Apple to simply pay the royalty and put a THX logo on the box.
Agreed. THX is by all accounts a respectable company, and I'm sure this could be worked out reasonably and amicably. Not sure about the THX logo.....
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Phew, I thought this could go on for 1138 years!
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 03:57 PM   #11
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Companies working out their differences amicably, imagine that! The lawyers must be pissed.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 04:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Colpeas View Post
Why not, they did it with Bose in the 90's, remember?
No, I'm too young to remember that. It sounds a little familiar, and based on the timing, I suspect that Steve Jobs wasn't there to prevent it.

Jonathan Ives is still at Apple to say "absolutely not" to having other companies brands on the surface of an Apple product.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Phew, I thought this could go on for 1138 years!
that's only if they both don't take their mandated medication...
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 04:41 PM   #14
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Are these patents for the same iPad speaker I have to cup my hand around to hear?
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 04:49 PM   #15
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Maybe Steve just should've bought THX along with Pixar as a bundle. Would've saved a lot of this hassle.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 06:10 PM   #16
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Agreed. THX is by all accounts a respectable company, and I'm sure this could be worked out reasonably and amicably. Not sure about the THX logo.....
THX was a respectable company when it was a part of Lucasfilm. It has since been sold to Creative Labs and it has lost much of its creative juice since.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 07:10 PM   #17
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Am I the only one that sees the irony this?


The Holman eXperiment is negotiating with Apple Audio that is headed by Tomlinson Holman.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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Phew, I thought this could go on for 1138 years!
You are a true believer.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 08:29 PM   #19
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From my understanding it is for the new iMacs circa 2012 (slim design)

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Are these patents for the same iPad speaker I have to cup my hand around to hear?
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 08:36 PM   #20
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Are these patents for the same iPad speaker I have to cup my hand around to hear?
You're listening to it wrong...
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 04:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by AppleMark View Post
THX Technology would make very good TV speakers then...?
It would if they actually made anything.

It's much cheaper to sit around and do nothing, then wait for someone to try and develop something similar and just sue them for all their profits for infringing your dust-collecting patents.

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Phew, I thought this could go on for 1138 years!
That would be another legal monkey on Apple's back and a long road to travel down. Little hope of seeing the light after the long climb.
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 09:48 AM   #22
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Dusty Patents

Speaking of dusty patents, the technology in question is basically a folded horn design going back to probably before the 30s with Western Electric and numerous others since. There are gobs of designs using wave theory in your local library (and other products in your local big box store with this exact application). I love it when these jokers stick an ancient design on their new device and call it their "invention".
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 09:55 AM   #23
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Am I the only one that sees the irony this?


The Holman eXperiment is negotiating with Apple Audio that is headed by Tomlinson Holman.
Funny! (But, alas, not ironic. Serendipitous for sure though...)
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 12:40 PM   #24
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Technology question: what exactly is the patent for?

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Originally Posted by edison5 View Post
Speaking of dusty patents, the technology in question is basically a folded horn design going back to probably before the 30s with Western Electric and numerous others since. There are gobs of designs using wave theory in your local library (and other products in your local big box store with this exact application). I love it when these jokers stick an ancient design on their new device and call it their "invention".
Funny, that was exactly my question. How does this design differ from the myriad of horn designs I used to read about in High Fidelity 50 years ago or so? Everything from huge designs for big old houses to tiny desktop designs. On the commercial side, big Klipsch corner speakers, down to small dorm-room designs, one of which became, I think, the "Bic Venturi" desktop speaker. Has anyone read the patent to see exactly what the "novel" feature is?
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