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NEWS: Beats in a lawsuit with Yamaha

Discussion in 'Head-Fi Network & Industry News' started by joe, Feb 14, 2013.
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  1. Armaegis
    Maybe... but they're targeting the Beats generation right? (though there probably isn't much overlap in the demographics... but I shouldn't generalize there)
  2. peaceful1
    OMG forget this nonsense lawsuit stick to this strange news:
    my favorite comment :
  3. catspaw
    I remmber a movie with Nicolas Cage where he said something like: Im not stealing from people, they choose to give me their money.
    Well... I guess its the same thing with those monster cables.
    You could say that if people want to buy it, they are free to do so, but i personally hope for something better from humans (i think there might be more than 1 race of humans by now...).
    Im guessing that there are companies like Bosch, that go for the 30% benefit from their products and thats it, and then there are companies like...apple? :D that go for something a bit higher (no idea how high).
    If you buy from the companies that have a strict profit rating, im guessing their products should be very good as a rule of thumb.
  4. Hutnicks

    Hmmm, Maybe AKG should sue them.
    peaceful1 likes this.
  5. BarryAC26
    Samsung is practically mocking Apple with this!
    I can't believe Beats isn't trying to get more money out of Yamaha than they are. Seems like a pretty pathetic attempt at a suit...
  6. peaceful1
    it remind me of this:
    also see here:
    about the lawsuit sad to say I'm sure beats is more noun than the giant music instrument builder Yamaha,
  7. bfchang
    Everyone wants a piece of the mass-market pie
  8. zorin
    That is a preposterous lawsuit.
    There is copying of a specific technology and then there is copying of a shape of a product. If Yamaha disassembled the offended headphones, studied its technical design and details and started to mass produce and sell the copies then the suing company has the case. I do not think it has one as there are reports that Yamahas sound better than Beats and that means that there has not been any copying of technical aspects of Beats headphones. There is also the fact that why would Yamaha Corporation / Yamaha Pro Audio risk damaging their reputation by manufacturing and selling straight copies of sonically substandard headphones ? They would risk being laughed at. Anybody who is a bit smart would pirate and copy a good product and not a semi-junk.
    The Beats headphones are not an audio world phenomenon, they are a fashion phenomenon. Young urban simpletons buy and wear them mainly because it is considered to be cool to do so at the moment. To be a fashion accessory is the primary function of these headphones and then comes the secondary one, to be a medium through which the awfulness of our decayed culture's some-kind-of-music bang-o-noise enters the brains of its addicts.
    The copying of a design, of a physical shape, is a very old industrial practice. How many korean auto makers were sued for copying german or italian car shapes ? The Chinese are copying everything, if it were designs only and not the actual technology itself.
    This lawsuit has a small chance of being successful. If I were a Yamaha executive I would make this lawsuit to go to a jury trial and then I would tell the defense lawyer to stack the jury with some audiophiles. After listening to both headphones no audio smart jurors would agree that Yamaha copied the Beats. 
    Added later. I found an info that Beats manufacturer managed to patent its headphones design, It almost smells of bribery.
  9. Steve Eddy
    Shape is the design. A design patent can't cover anything functional. That's what utility patents are for.
    The intent of the system can be found in Article I, Section 8, clause eight, which grants Congress the power "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."
    Are you saying that design is not among the useful arts?
    And all I'm saying is that I don't see that it's any more broken than when the Patent Act of 1790 was signed into law. At least in the context we're discussing here.
  10. Steve Eddy
    Yes, it's called a design patent, which is separate from utility patents. Design patents have been issued by the US Patent Office since 1842. The first design patent (D1) was issued to George Bruce for a new typeface.
    And here's D150, which was issued for the design of a spoon:
    So there's absolutely nothing unusual about this lawsuit.
  11. AzN1337c0d3r

    I'm well aware of the difference between utility patents and design patents. I have already argued that design patents shouldn't be allowed precisely because they don't follow the intent of the Constitution which gives Congress the power to allow patents.

    Are you kidding me that the shape of Beats headphone is useful arts? Please elaborate on how the teardrop shape has any use?

    You also seem to imply that the teardrop shape implies design where none exist. If you saw a teardrop in nature, would you say it was designed too?
    I should also note that from Wikipedia:
    Beats headphones were definitely not the first objects with a teardrop shape.
  12. zorin
    Thanks for the effort and for the good flow of information.
  13. zorin


    Are you kidding me that the shape of Beats headphone is useful arts?
    Maybe because as an artistic design it can be classified as 'art' and then because as a piece of 'art' it does not hang within a frame on a wall but is used regularly as a combined art & technology object, therefore "useful arts" moniker can be slapped on this object/headphones.
    The nagging questions are - how come a common sense shape of an object can be described as 'art' ? The design of the Beats headphones is nothing revolutionary original and beautiful and the idea of it is not original at all; how come it was approved under the patent law as original and the exclusive rights to these headphones' shape given to the manufacturer? Why didn't the manufacturer sued the other transgressors before ? If I came to the patent office with an idea of a two wheeled vehicle with a combustible engine [a motorcyle] whose wheelspokes would be in the shape of four arms of a swastika [it would look artistic, no question about it] would I get it approved as a piece of art and then get  the exclusive rights to it and then be able to sue any motorcycle manufacturer making motorcycles whose wheels use the four thick wheelspokes design ?
  14. Steve Eddy
    Design is among the useful arts as it is part and parcel of a useful item, in this case a set of headphones. Design is an example of what's known as the applied arts.
    Your myopic obsession with "teardrop shape" is little more than an obfuscation.
    Monster didn't design a shape. They designed a headphone. And a rather distinctive looking one at that, unless you would care to show me another headphone that could easily be confused with the Beats (logos notwithstanding) and existed prior to the introduction of the Beats.
    Dieter Rams designed the TP1 portable radio and record player for Braun back in the 1950's.
    It too is very distinctive. But if you look at it simply as "shapes," it's just circles and rectangles.
    Looking at design simply as shapes is like looking at music simply as notes or a book simply as words, which is utterly absurd.
    The design of the Beats came together fundamentally no differently than a piece of music or literature. Various elements were brought together in a creative way to produce something new and distinctive. And to that end, I don't see that it's any less deserving of protection than a new piece of music or literature.
    zorin and PsychicPickle like this.
  15. King of Pangaea
    I too began to consider conspiracy theories a few days ago, ie; Yamaha intentionally putting out the cosmetics to draw Beats into a battle, but unlike the other motivations posited here concerning money, it just would be for the publicity.  Who knows about Yamaha headphones anyway.  They don't have much of  a presence on the consumer horizon, and while I have been using their receivers for about 25 years, I have never heard of, much less investigated their cans.  I am happy with my Senns, and while there are many other brands intersecting my knowledge base, Yamaha to me is an electronics Mfr., not a headphone Mfr.  Granted, they have long made a line of me-too speakers, but mainly to sell along with their other products to round out their stable.  Why not phones, but I have never been aware of this and I doubt most people have either.  The head-fi market, while growing, still is not large enough to attract the mass sales numbers major manufacturers are looking for. 
    So you want publicity, irritate the competition with a well placed cosmetic kick in the pants and maybe you will get some.  Seriously though, is the issue important enough to merit all the dialog and clamor over who is right and/or wrong.  Sure Beats are junk.  I haven't heard Yamaha cans so I can't comment quality-wise, but why care about a tempest in a teapot cause like this.  There are plenty of good cans to listen to and debate the relative merits thereof, rather that argue and speculate about concerning the legal outcomes of what should be a minor issue.
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