Bose files lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats Electronics over noise-cancelling headphone patents


According to CNBC, headphone maker Bose has filed a lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats Electronics over patents related to technologies used in noise-cancelling headphones. Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in May, including both the headphone-making division Beats Electronic and streaming music service Beats Music. 

The patent infringement complaint was filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, with both Beats Electronics and Beats Electronics International listed as the defendants. There are at least five patents involved in the lawsuit, which we’ve outlined below per patent news website PriorSmart (via 9to5Mac):

  • 8,073,151: “Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology” by Joho et. al.. Includes 30 claims (2 indep.). Was application 12/430,994. Granted 12/6/2011.
  • 8,073,150: “Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology” by Joho et. al.. Includes 24 claims (2 indep.). Was application 12/430,990. Granted 12/6/2011.
  • 6,717,537: “Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems” by Fang et. al. Prosecuted by Thelen Reid & Priest LLP Robbins; Steven J.. Includes 19 claims (3 indep.). Was application 10/179,930. Granted 4/6/2004.
  • 8,345,888: “Digital high frequency phase compensation” by Carreras et. al.. Includes 16 claims (3 indep.). Was application 12/750,309. Granted 1/1/2013.
  • 8,054,992: “High frequency compensating” by Sapiejewski.. Includes 23 claims (6 indep.). Was application 11/409,894. Granted 11/8/2011.

Beats Electronics has been selling premium headphones since late 2008, when it released the iconic Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Headphones. Meanwhile, Bose has been an established industry leader in the headphones market for several decades.

Apple has yet to finalize its acquisition of Beats Electronics, although CEO Tim Cook did note that the deal should be completed during this fiscal quarter. It is unknown if this lawsuit could have any sort of impact on the acquisition, although it would likely only be minor if so.