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.

imacthxspeakers
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

Premium1 Avatar
123 months ago
What comes around, goes around apple.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
irDigital0l Avatar
123 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.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nzalog Avatar
123 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.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NewAnger Avatar
123 months ago
It would be easier to post a list of who is not suing Apple.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samh004 Avatar
123 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... ;)
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
irDigital0l Avatar
123 months ago

Who gives out this stuff seriously?
Maybe the company that patented "using a smartphone" and "rectangle with rounded corners".

aka Apple
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Remains Silent About Plans to Detect Known CSAM Stored in iCloud Photos

Saturday August 13, 2022 1:52 pm PDT by
It has now been over a year since Apple announced plans for three new child safety features, including a system to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) images stored in iCloud Photos, an option to blur sexually explicit photos in the Messages app, and child exploitation resources for Siri. The latter two features are now available, but Apple remains silent about its plans for the CSAM...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...