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[AppleInsider] Apple sued by THX over U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 "Narrow profile speaker" used in iPhone, iPad and iMac

post #1 of 73
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Apple sued by THX for allegedly misusing patented speaker tech in iPhone, iPad and iMac
http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/16/apple-sued-by-thx-for-allegedly-misusing-patented-speaker-tech-in-iphone-ipad-and-imac
Quote:
THX, the sound innovation company founded by George Lucas, filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, claiming that various models of the iPhone, iPad and iMac product lineups infringe on a single speaker patent for a "narrow profile speaker."

According to the complaint, Apple knowingly infringed and continues to infringe upon THX's U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 for "Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems," a property granted in 2008 describing methods to effectively enhance sound quality in compact speaker arrangements integrated into consumer electronics like computers and televisions.

As noted by Bloomberg, THX claims Apple's violation caused monetary damages and irreparable harm, and seeks royalties or damages to make up for lost profit.



Has a scanned copy of the Complaint for Patent Infringement

THX, Founded by George Lucas, Sues Apple in Patent Case [3/15/2013]
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-15/thx-ltd-founded-by-george-lucas-sues-apple-in-patent-case-1-.html

The case THX Ltd. v. Apple Inc., 13-01161, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).


Apple sued by THX over iMac, iPad, and iPhone speaker design [3/16/2013]
http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/16/4111638/george-lucas-thx-patent-lawsuit-against-apple-over-speaker-design
Quote:
The patent in question, No. 7,433,483, outlines technology for "Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems." Specifically, it describes ways to enhance sound quality through speaker units attached to consumer products such as flat-screen televisions or personal computers. THX alleges that Apple's iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 infringe upon this technology, as do undisclosed models of the iMac and iPad. As Apple Insider notes, the Cupertino-based company already owns several speaker-related patents, with its most recent, US Patent No. 8,385,568, granted in February 2013.


Added

Apple Hires Sound Systems Inventor Tomlinson Holman (May 5th, 2011)
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Apple-Hires-Sound-Systems-Inventor-Tomlinson-Holman-198553.shtml
Quote:
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.
http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/17/thx-sues-apple-over-alleged-narrow-profile-speaker-patent-infringement/


Tomlinson Holman the TH in THX got hired by Apple in 2011. the alleged infringing devices are iPhone 4S and up and
the latest iMacs. If a company hires somebody that has trade secrets and they use it then they should be sued. The courts will
decide it the patent that THX holds was violated by Apple.


But this doesn't seem like a Patent troll law suite to me.
Edited by Heuchler - 3/19/13 at 9:17am
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post #2 of 73
Hurray
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post #3 of 73
I'm not sure how this could have caused "monetary damages" to THX. They don't actually 'make' anything, they just pretty much sell the licence to write 'THX' on AV kit...
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post #4 of 73
Will the stupidity never end? Sure, Karma deems Apple had this coming, but that doesn't make it any less terrible that the US patent system is getting abused more frequently than your average CoD player's headset.
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post #5 of 73
Job Security = Work for Apple's legal department.
post #6 of 73
now this is interesting.
     
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post #7 of 73
This patent trolling has got to stop.
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post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstrous View Post

I'm not sure how this could have caused "monetary damages" to THX. They don't actually 'make' anything, they just pretty much sell the licence to write 'THX' on AV kit...

That's because Apple is using what is supposedly their patent and then not buying the license to have THX written on the iCrapple.
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post #9 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstrous View Post

I'm not sure how this could have caused "monetary damages" to THX. They don't actually 'make' anything, they just pretty much sell the licence to write 'THX' on AV kit...

They don't just "write" THX on equipment. That THX means it passed their testing and standards.
Quote:
The THX system is not a recording technology, and it does not specify a sound recording format: all sound formats, whether digital (Dolby Digital, SDDS) or analog (Dolby Stereo, Ultra-Stereo), can be "shown in THX." THX is mainly a quality assurance system. THX-certified theaters provide a high-quality, predictable playback environment to ensure that any film soundtrack mixed in THX will sound as near as possible to the intentions of the mixing engineer. THX also provides certified theaters with a special crossover circuit whose use is part of the standard. Certification of an auditorium entails specific acoustic and other technical requirements; architectural requirements include a floating floor, baffled and acoustically treated walls, no parallel walls (to reduce standing waves), a perforated screen (to allow center channel continuity), and NC30 rating for background noise.
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post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstrous View Post

I'm not sure how this could have caused "monetary damages" to THX. They don't actually 'make' anything, they just pretty much sell the licence to write 'THX' on AV kit...

It would be awesome if as part of the settlement, all affected Apple products are forced to display a THX logo at startup.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Hardware News › [AppleInsider] Apple sued by THX over U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 "Narrow profile speaker" used in iPhone, iPad and iMac