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THX Sues Apple Over Alleged 'Narrow Profile Speaker' Patent Infringement

Bloomberg reports that THX, the sound innovation company that traces its origins to George Lucas and Lucasfilm 30 years ago, has filed suit against Apple in U.S. District Court over alleged infringement of a speaker patent by the iMac, iPhone and iPad product lines.
THX holds a 2008 patent for a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California.
THX is claiming that the infringement has caused it "monetary damage and irreparable harm" and is seeking either an order to stop the alleged infringement and a reasonable royalty or damages to compensate THX for any lost profit.

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The sound company alleges that undisclosed iPad and iMac models, as well as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, are infringing upon the patent. As noted by AppleInsider, the device that most resembles THX's patent is the newly redesigned iMac, which features long channels that allow audio to be projected from the thin bottom edge of the machine.

There is of course still a chance for the two companies to reach a settlement, as the deadline for Apple to meet with THX and its counsel over initial disclosure is May 14, with initial disclosures due on June 7 and the initial case management conference a week later on June 14.

If the two sides do not agree on a settlement, Apple's arguments in court will likely hinge on disputing the patent's validity.

Notably, Tom Holman, creator of the original THX standard, joined Apple in mid-2011 to provide "technical direction" on the company's audio efforts.

THX also has a presence on Apple's App Store for iOS devices in the form of THX tune-up, an app released in January that allows users to calibrate televisions and surround sound systems.

Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
What comes around, goes around apple.
Rating: 51 Votes
21 months ago

Ah, the latest favorite anti-Apple chestnut. Dilger would have a word.


Are people actually defending Apple because they infringed another company's patent?

God I own an iPhone and iPad but this is just sad.

Worst part of following Apple is all the moronic fans that defend it.
Rating: 35 Votes
21 months ago
It would be easier to post a list of who is not suing Apple.
Rating: 33 Votes
21 months ago

What comes around, goes around apple.


Yeah I mean Samsung didn't deserve it... :rolleyes:

Hell, I hope Apple pays out if this patent is truly legit. Can't say I wish anything positive towards Samsung, it's like a parasite you can't shake off.
Rating: 33 Votes
21 months ago
So they have a patent for a speaker that projects sound through a narrow slot... that's a pretty handy patent to have, because no one would think of doing that... ;)
Rating: 31 Votes
21 months ago


Who gives out this stuff seriously?


Maybe the company that patented "using a smartphone" and "rectangle with rounded corners".

aka Apple
Rating: 27 Votes
21 months ago

Lol at "narow speaker placement" patent.

Who gives out this stuff seriously?


The exact same people who gave Apple a patent for a black or white oblong with rounded corners :rolleyes:

And I like how THX used the same argument as Apple's lawyers did against Samsung: "monetary damage and irreparable harm"

And why do people state everyone wants a bite of Apple? erm, no, THX designed something and hold a patent for it and Apple are using it without abiding by patent law and paying for the technologies use. THX are totally obliged to take Apple to court for that. Because Apple would! And you would all be complaining how THX 'stole' from Apple, well this is just another example of how Apple 'steals' from others just as much IMO.
Rating: 26 Votes
21 months ago
Lol at "narow speaker placement" patent.

Who gives out this stuff seriously?
Rating: 24 Votes
21 months ago
Oh great, patents again. If I patent patents, can I sue everyone who owns a patent? One can dream.
Rating: 23 Votes
21 months ago
Inventions / great ideas should be protected but some of this stuff is so vague!
Rating: 18 Votes

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