Apple Settles AirPods Patent Dispute With Koss to Avoid Trial
Apple has settled an AirPods-related patent infringement lawsuit with audio manufacturer Koss, according to a court filing submitted on Saturday that was highlighted by Reuters. Koss had accused Apple of infringing on its wireless headphone technology patents with AirPods and Beats products.
Koss said that AirPods and Beats wireless headphones violated a handful of patents related to wireless headphone technology, which Koss claims to have pioneered. When Koss first filed the lawsuit in 2020 the company said that Apple was aware of its patents and that they met on several occasions to discuss using them.
Apple ultimately opted not to license any Koss technology, leading Koss to sue and demand an unspecified amount of damages for the alleged infringement. After Koss levied a lawsuit at Apple, Apple countersued and said that the allegations were "baseless," the patents were invalid, and that the lawsuit itself broke a 2017 confidentiality agreement that said Koss would bring no litigation against Apple.
Apple and Koss were set to go to trial today, but the two companies on Saturday said they had resolved the allegations that Apple infringed on Koss' wireless audio patents. As a result, the case was dismissed.
There are no details on the settlement at this time, but the filing indicates that "all matters in controversy" have been resolved. Koss has also sued other headphone brands that include Bose and Skullcandy, and those lawsuits are still pending.
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Top Rated Comments
Apple discusses using another company's patent in a new product, but has them sign a no-lawsuit agreement under the guise of calling it a "confidentiality agreement".
Then Apple uses the patents anyway, making the all too familiar "the patents are invalid so we're not paying" claim.
Then countersues when the patent holder says "I think not" and sues Apple for infringement.
Then settles once they realize the patents are in fact valid, and Apple could be on the hook for more if a jury decides and awards triple damages for willful infringement plus attorney's fees to Koss.
Use tech without paying for patents. Wait to see if anyone notices and if you get sued, deal with it then.