Audio giant Bose Corp sues luxury headphone maker Beats Electronics
26 July 2014
Audio giant Bose Corp has sued luxury headphone maker Beats Electronics for alleged infringement of its patented noise-cancelling technology in its headphones, bostonherald.com reported.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court and in a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, (ITC) the Framingham-based Bose said technology protected by patents was being used by Beats in its ''Studio'' line of headphones.
''We are committed to protecting our investment, protecting our customers and defending the patents we own,'' Bose said in a statement, while saying the company does not comment specifically on ongoing litigation.
''For over 30 years, Bose has made significant investments in the research, development, engineering and design of the proprietary technologies found in our headphones.''
Bose has called on the ITC to bar the import and sale of headphones in the US and was asking for ''damages sufficient to compensate Bose for Beats' infringement.''
According to Bose, Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless headphones used a type of noise-cancelling technology that used sound waves to counteract and eliminate unwanted noise.
The company had filed patent suits in the past, which included one in February against Monster Cable Products to block imports of its iSport Intensity earbuds.
According to Bose's lawsuit filed, it was not the first time Beats had infringed on its patents.
According to the company, it had sent Beats several warnings about patent violations in the past.
In the lawsuit and FTC complaint, Bose had asked that Beats be prevented from importing headphones that contained 36 of Bose's patents.
Beats' products like those of Bose are manufactured in China.
The lawsuit outlines the history of Bose's noise-cancelling technology, starting from when deceased founder Amar Bose thought up the innovation.
In 1978, Bose while on a flight from Zurich to Boston discovered that the headphones supplied by the airline, which promised new fidelity benefits, performed poorly.
Although the headphones were touted for great sound quality, the cabin noise affected the quality of the output, and the audio would get distorted whenever the volume was increased.
Bose then formulated a basic concept for headphones that produced high quality output while at the same time, cut out cabin noise.
On his return to the US, Bose immediately formed a research group and set out to work on his concept.
If Bose were to win the lawsuit, Apple would be required to pay Bose for all of the company's court fees, and surrender the sales of the sold Beats headphones that used the patented technology.
In May, Apple announced it would acquire Beats for $3 billion, it biggest acquisition (See: Apple acquires Beats for $3 bn in biggest acquisition to date).