THX Sues Apple Over Alleged 'Narrow Profile Speaker' Patent Infringement

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bloomberg reports that THX, the sound innovation company that traces its origins to George Lucas and Lucasfilm 30 years ago, has filed suit against Apple in U.S. District Court over alleged infringement of a speaker patent by the iMac, iPhone and iPad product lines.
    THX is claiming that the infringement has caused it "monetary damage and irreparable harm" and is seeking either an order to stop the alleged infringement and a reasonable royalty or damages to compensate THX for any lost profit.

    The sound company alleges that undisclosed iPad and iMac models, as well as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, are infringing upon the patent. As noted by AppleInsider, the device that most resembles THX's patent is the newly redesigned iMac, which features long channels that allow audio to be projected from the thin bottom edge of the machine.

    There is of course still a chance for the two companies to reach a settlement, as the deadline for Apple to meet with THX and its counsel over initial disclosure is May 14, with initial disclosures due on June 7 and the initial case management conference a week later on June 14.

    If the two sides do not agree on a settlement, Apple's arguments in court will likely hinge on disputing the patent's validity.

    Notably, Tom Holman, creator of the original THX standard, joined Apple in mid-2011 to provide "technical direction" on the company's audio efforts.

    THX also has a presence on Apple's App Store for iOS devices in the form of THX tune-up, an app released in January that allows users to calibrate televisions and surround sound systems.

    Article Link: THX Sues Apple Over Alleged 'Narrow Profile Speaker' Patent Infringement
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2012
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2012
    Denver Colorado
    It would be easier to post a list of who is not suing Apple.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 26, 2013
  5. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
    Lol at "narow speaker placement" patent.

    Who gives out this stuff seriously?
  6. macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    So they have a patent for a speaker that projects sound through a narrow slot... that's a pretty handy patent to have, because no one would think of doing that... ;)
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2012
    Yeah I mean Samsung didn't deserve it... :rolleyes:

    Hell, I hope Apple pays out if this patent is truly legit. Can't say I wish anything positive towards Samsung, it's like a parasite you can't shake off.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    Oh great, patents again. If I patent patents, can I sue everyone who owns a patent? One can dream.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2010
    Northern Atlanta suburbs
    Inventions / great ideas should be protected but some of this stuff is so vague!
  10. macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2012
  11. macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
    can someone explain to me why THX waits until several products come out from Apple to file a suit? is it because they'll get more money if they wait? or does filing a suit take that long?
  12. macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2012

    it's a trap!!
  13. macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2012
  14. macrumors 68030

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I don't like litigation, but Apple should invent its own stuff ;)
  15. Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Maybe the company that patented "using a smartphone" and "rectangle with rounded corners".

    aka Apple
  16. macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2012
    *everyone wants a bite of Apple's Apple.
  17. apolloa, Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013

    macrumors 603


    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    The exact same people who gave Apple a patent for a black or white oblong with rounded corners :rolleyes:

    And I like how THX used the same argument as Apple's lawyers did against Samsung: "monetary damage and irreparable harm"

    And why do people state everyone wants a bite of Apple? erm, no, THX designed something and hold a patent for it and Apple are using it without abiding by patent law and paying for the technologies use. THX are totally obliged to take Apple to court for that. Because Apple would! And you would all be complaining how THX 'stole' from Apple, well this is just another example of how Apple 'steals' from others just as much IMO.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    The thing is, there isn't any evidence that they did knowingly infringe on any patents. This is the thing that gets me. If people genuinely come up with the same idea independently, but one patents it first, the other guy could get sued. It makes you a little nervous about inventing anything to be quite honest... There are a seemingly endless pile of patents out there, and any one of them could be enough to sue me.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    I agree. I think the root of the problem lies in the broken patent system. It's very difficult to search through all the tens of thousands of patents, as well as attempting to interpret what it's all talking about and the limitations of such patents.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2010
    Could this be the result of the former THX employee going to Apple?
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2012
    Probably a combination of not being aware of the alleged breach, and then the preparation for filing. I think (hope) companies dont pull apart every new product, compare to their stock of patents, and launch pre-pared suits.
  22. LagunaSol, Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2013

    macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
  23. macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    All these lawsuits, who do they benefit really? Lawyers? They're just as bad as chasing ambulances.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Seriously? The author of this post doesn't expect Apple to take the far more typical front-line stance of non-infringement?
  25. Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Are people actually defending Apple because they infringed another company's patent?

    God I own an iPhone and iPad but this is just sad.

    Worst part of following Apple is all the moronic fans that defend it.

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