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Bose Sues Beats for Patent Infringement

Discussion in 'Head-Fi Network & Industry News' started by jude, Jul 26, 2014.
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  1. bose-vs-beats.jpg
    Bose is suing Beats for infringement of its patents pertaining to ANC/ANR (active noise cancellation/reduction). The causes of action are listed as: 
    1. Count I – Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,717,537
      1. Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems
      2. Excerpt(s) from the patent:
        1. "While widely used in the art, the conventional analog approach for reducing noise in a system is not without its problems. ANC systems are theoretically able to null the noise by generating a phase-inverted antinoise signal, however, as a practical concern, the various components of the system such as the input and output transducers will introduce certain undesirable delays. These delays may adversely affect the frequency range over which noise can be cancelled, the degree to which noise can be cancelled, and the stability of the noise-cancellation system. It is therefore desirable to be able to minimize the associated delays in the circuit. Likewise, it is also desirable to be able to adjust the circuit to compensate for component variation and manufacturing tolerances and for usage conditions to maximize the noise-cancellation frequency range and noise-cancellation ratio. Such adjustability is difficult to achieve using analog techniques. Another desirable function that can prove difficult in the analog domain is the equalization of the signal for frequency-dependent attenuation caused by subsequent processing functions."
    1. Count II – Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,073,150
      1. Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology
    1. Count III – Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,073,151
      1. Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology
    1. Count IV – Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,054,992
      1. High frequency compensating
    1. Count V – Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,345,888
      1. Digital high frequency phase compensation
    The Beats products Bose specifically names are the Beats Studio and the Beats Studio Wireless. Though Bose makes mention in the suit of all of its ANR/ANC models (past and present), only its Bose QC20 is mentioned repeatedly, perhaps because "The QC20 embodies at least one invention claimed by each of the Asserted Patents," and it is their most recent active noise canceling model.
    By now, most of you probably know that Apple recently acquired Beats for around $3 billion, so some may find the timing of Bose's lawsuit interesting.
    This could be an intriguing lawsuit to pay attention to (assuming it isn't settled out first). Also, I have to imagine, given the scope of Bose's patents, that perhaps other companies making ANR/ANC headphones may similarly find themselves named as defendants in the future.
  2. thatBeatsguy
    This is interesting, especially with Apple having already bought Beats.
  3. AnakChan Moderator
    I'm sure the suit was timed accordingly.
  4. TripBitShooter
    Oooh interesting... btw does anyone know the result of the lawsuit in which beats sued yamaha for copying its headphone design?
  5. invisiblekid
    To get publicity sure, but while Beats had plenty of $$$ if I were Bose, I'd rather be up against them on their own rather than their brand new owners with more money than God. 
  6. RPGWiZaRD
    Man, do I hate these U.S. patent laws. It hurts us costumers. Patenting things like that is madness.
  7. audionewbi
    Bose and Beats the two products head-fi could not care less about, let them fight, they both made enough money for little good reason. Truth be told bose on ear got me into this hobby which made me buy the ER4S and realise what treble was all about.
  8. physib
    I think the timing is stupid... Apple has so much experience/money with patent trolling I doubt it would go too well for Bose.
  9. daerron
    So why aren't they also suing other ANC headphone makers or do they have licensing agreements with Bose? Certainly will be interesting, especially taking the the timing of this into account.
  10. MrLazyAnt
    I would think that Bose might want to make their claim with a smaller company first so as to set precedent. Of course this could be partly a long term marketing ploy in which case suing a namebrand like Beats makes more sense
  11. MrLazyAnt
    Putting it to the public that bose has beats technlogy and even developed it
  12. spook76

    You have to be kidding me. Patent law exists to allow investors to reap monopoly rents for a statutory length of time. Without patent law why put in all of the effort, time and money developing new inventions, for the common good? Patent law is so important than it was specifically referenced in the US Constitution back in 1788 in Article I Section 8.
  13. TripBitShooter
    btw audionewbi Bose is not as bad as u think. their speaker systems (like the soundlink mini and Bose companion II 2.0 speaker system) are pretty good and their ANC headphones are decent (but are being beaten by much cheaper Creatives in terms of overall Sound Quality and ANC ability).
  14. TripBitShooter
    its also not good to overly hate or like a certain brand. of course if a brand like beats is too infamous for being overpriced then u can hate it but generally have an open mind. u can like or dislike a brand but dont let it cloud your judgement of the gear it sells. ne unbiased basically
  15. RPGWiZaRD

    No, I'm not and I'm just stating my opinion of it and I hate it.

    The reason is it limits freedom of us customers and ruins competitiveness and leads to stale product development. Say what if ANC was patented. Person wants a ANC headphone but is picky about the sound quality. Then the person has to rely on that particular headphone company to get a good sounding headphone. Well we all know that is not an easy task, especially to fit into everyone's taste as we all have our different personal taste on how it should be. It could also cause the developer with the patent to become lazy and release half-assed attempts with little efforts as they are the only competitor with that feature. U.S. patent law is a competitiveness edginess dampening system and limit of freedom of choice to the customer. Yes it's good that it protects the development efforts of the developer but again to me, it's more of a harm than it does good. That companies have abused the system doesn't make it better.

    Luckily europe has released this. There has to exist some limit at which and how things are patented, in U.S. the bar seems set too low. Patenting certain technologies is just harm for customers in the world.
    longboy likes this.
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