Apple's next patent war? Bose slaps Beats with a lawsuit

Apple's next patent war? Bose slaps Beats with a lawsuit

Summary: The Apple-Beats deal is expected to close during the current quarter, ending mid-September.


Even if public sympathy (or interest) in patent battles is waning, the infringement suits just seem to keep coming.

The latest one could soon involve one of the most prominent players in the ongoing tech patent battles.

Audio electronics maker Bose Corporation has slapped Beats Electronics with a fresh lawsuit, according to CNBC.

Beats was acquired by Apple (no stranger to patent cases) for roughly $3 billion ($2.6 billion in cash, plus $400 million in stock) back in May.

Neither Beats nor Apple has commented publicly on the matter.

But Bose has already commenced proceedings with an official complaint filed at the US District Court for the District of Delaware on Friday.

At least five patents are in question, much of which focus on internal audio processing and frequency technologies versus product design.

The Apple-Beats deal is expected to close during the current quarter, ending mid-September.

Topics: Patents, Apple, Hardware, Legal, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • BOSE - the Al Gore of audio

    "we done invented headphones!!!"
    • Learn to read

      Before being a troll make sure it makes some kind of sense and an actual point...sayin al gore of anything when thats no where near the truth is just plain lazy as hell...they are suing over the noise canceling portion of the headphones...
      Trollin Trolls
      • Oh You Mean

        That thing we did in the 1970s when broadcasting live sports events, using two mikes with one out of phase? That functionality that's been in audio applications for a while?

        I don't doubt that Bose's engineers refined the process, but here's their reward: people prefer to pay for their headphones. If customers value something else more, tough toenails.

        But, Bose went to the court to swat down a competitor. They're entitled. And we're entitled to think it's a bucket of poultry waste and ridicule them.
        • You can't say

          Unless you've seen the details of the complaint, you don't know whether Bose's patent is worthwhile or not. Most of the patent litigation these days is over frivolous, garbage patents -- patenting the obvious. And software patents are ridiculous. But patents are also still sometimes granted to inventions that are genuinely clever or that involved a significant R&D effort deserve protection. And the companies or individuals who made those inventions deserve to be rewarded for the use of their intellectual property. Otherwise, there's little incentive for that kind of R&D.
          • Patents by default are now presumed frivolous !

            Unfortunately frivolous patents that should have never been granted seem to be the order of the day. So we presume the any patent is frivolous, the patent system is now unsuitable for purpose and needs to be reformed.
    • I wish wish there was a B-Slap option

      In addition to the Vote and Flag option for people who bring up politics, especially of dimwit redneck type, in a tech article discussion thread.
      • You know I am Canadian, right?

        I don't actually care about the American left-right fixation. I'm simply aware of the popular meme.
        • Maybe there should also be an Xtra B-Slap option

          For people annoyingly trying to justify their injection of dopey politics (Eh, I'm Canadian and I was just using an American meme I heard about but didn't understand....)
          • Oh, I understand alright

            That Al Gore was actually instrumental in capitalizing the infrastructure that took Arpanet from a military/university experiment to a commercially available supernet.....

            I just don't care.

            We just don't take our politics that seriously up here. (Think about it, we elected Rob Ford.)
          • Politics should be taken seriously

            But politics is a peaceable pursuit that should have nothing at all to do with war. Practiced responsibly, it prevents civil war instead of contributing to it.
            John L. Ries
          • John L. Ries: "politics ... should have nothing at all to do with war"

            Practicing responsible politics does not just prevent civil war, but uncivil war too. Or is it unjust war?

            I can't wait (actually, I can) for the next U.S. Presidential campaign where Hillary Clinton will again pronounce: "If yada-yada-yada , I will obliterate Iran". *Somebody* needs to put a leash on Israel.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • "Someone needs to put a leash on Israel"

            I've no objections to Israeli politicians and diplomats (or those of any other country) looking after the interests of their own citizens; rather, the problem lies in the tendency of our own politicians to uncritically support Israel, even when it is wrong. And guess who is responsible for what our politicians do.
            John L. Ries
          • Thats OK - we re-elected Marion Barry

            for DC mayor after being video-taped smoking crack, being convicted and then spending time in federal prison for it. And he is still on DC Council in spite of other (tax, traffic, conflict-of-interest, etc.) picadillos.
            Dave S2
      • Bring up politics only when it's appropriate

        Public policy has a direct effect on the computer industry for as long as its existed; patent law and precedent being among the more notable examples. But the focus of the discussion should be on policy and its consequences (actual and likely) not partisanship.
        John L. Ries
      • Off topic stuff has always been flag bait

        It was one of the official reasons for flagging back when ZDNet required a stated reason.
        John L. Ries
    • Sure..yes

      Apple: "we invented rounded rectangles"
      and the concept of pinch to zoom.
  • That would be funny if Al Gore wasn't a Board Director at Apple

    Al Gore, whom as you may know, is a former attorney. Remember when he sent a platoon of attorneys to Florida to count ballots?

    From that failure, Al Gore now uses his political clout to assist Apple's silent lobbying campaign. When Steve Jobs was alive, his Secret Service team would fly overhead Steve Jobs white mercedes and shoot out of the way local law enforcement. He'd also help with federal laws also.

    Basically, Apple has suffered from "Rose Garden Colored Glasses" complex for the past few years. Even Tim Cook, who didn't need glasses in the past, bought a pair.
    • Check That

      I believe Al Gore was a journalist, though politician and/or family scion may be more accurate. (I double checked myself with wikipedia and while he did take a leave of absence from his newspaper job to go to Vanderbilt University Law School, he did not finish. He left law school early to run and serve in Congress in 1977.)

      Who doesn't use external directors to promote their business, especially when the outside director has achieved positions of honor in government service?

      Everyone sent attorneys to Florida. Al Gore was the one who packed it in after the Supreme Court ruled.

      The last paragraph seems steeped with self-contentment about a perceived cleverness. But, "'Rose Garden Colored Glasses'?" What are you talking about? Apple suffers from dreams of the White House? Something related to Lynn Anderson or Joe South? What is that complex you allude to? And now Tim Cook bought glasses, meaning what? Well, ahem, you point out, he didn't need them before. When I got my first pair of glasses in 4th grade, I did not need them before that time, either. No one gets glasses before they need them, unless they're like 80s Hollywood folks with superfluous glasses to make themselves look smarter.
      • Nothing wrong with rich kids going into politics

        JFK had much the same career path as Mr. Gore. FDR at least practiced law for a few years before he ran for office for the first time, but I don't think he practiced it much thereafter.

        The advantage of independently wealthy politicians is that losing an election doesn't have any financial implications and they can afford to take time off of work to run (and maybe even finance their own campaigns) and be politically active before they run; and quite a few (starting with George Washington) have refused their salaries. The disadvantage is that they often lack understanding of and real sympathy for "little people"; and that they will sometimes put their own financial interests and those of their class ahead of those of their constituents.
        John L. Ries
  • Bose invented noise cancelling headphones

    first for the aviation industry and then for everything else. Their patents are solid and i have no doubt they are valid and Apple will have to pay. But that's ok. Apple has deep pockets.

    Good to see Apple getting a taste of their own legal medicine