Beats Electronics, the company Beats Audio, Beats Music and a $3 billion acquisition by Apple, is under fire by Bose for copyright infringement. Bose claims that the technology used in noise-canceling Beats headphones is infringing on patents owned by the company.
A lawsuit would probably not affect the Apple acquisition but it still is worth noting that these two companies have not come to legal blows until now. The headphones in question are the Beats Studio, Beats Studio Wireless and Beats pro, which all contain noise-canceling technology. In the filing of the lawsuit, Bose goes on to outline the long history of the company from 1978 and the use of the exact same technology it has patented and implemented in its headphones. The document even mentions a stint in 1991 where the US Air Force hires Bose to create in-flight headsets for military pilots. Bose specifically points out the QuietComfort array of headphones as a specific reference of identical technology.
In total, 27 US patents, 13 of them pending, are claimed to be infringed upon. Two of the patents include one for a "Method and
Apparatus for Minimizing Latency in Digital Signal Processing Systems" and one for a "Dynamically Configurable ANR Signal Processing Topology." Since the suit was filed late on Friday, we've not heard a response from Beats nor a retort from Bose on the matter. However the document does outline expectations from Bose. First, Bose wants the court to file an injunction to prevent all sales of Beats headphones that fall under their claimed infringement. Bose also is going after monetary damages for said infringement.
We'll have to see if this case has any merit and if the court finds Beats guilty of any type of copyright violation. If they do, injunctions and damages could be in order for the company. At any rate, considering the sound quality on most Beats headphones, it might not be a bad thing to see some models be pulled off the shelves.