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Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle

Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie

Beats Studio headphones

Audio thing biz Bose is suing Apple-owned Beats Electronics, alleging patent infringement.

Massachusetts-based Bose claimed in its court filing [PDF] that headgear designed by Beats violated five of its patents, all relating to noise-canceling headphones. According to the paperwork dated July 25, Bose reckons the Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones specifically violate its protected technologies.

The patents in question are:

  • US 6,717,537 – Method and apparatus for minimizing latency in digital signal processing systems
  • US 8,073,150 – Dynamically configurable ANR signal processing topology
  • US 8,073,151 – Dynamically configurable ANR filter block topology
  • US 8,054,992 – High frequency compensating topology
  • US 8,345,888 – Digital high frequency phase compensation

"To protect its investments, Bose has sought patent protection, and owns many patents and patent applications," Bose attorneys said in the filing, which is seeking damages.

"Because Bose invests heavily in research and development, and because Bose has built its reputation on producing superior products through innovative technology, Bose’s continued success depends in substantial part on its ability to establish, maintain, and protect its proprietary technology through enforcement of its patent rights."

The company is now seeking a jury trial on the matter through a Delaware district court. A judge in the case has yet to be assigned.

Beats did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The lawsuit, perhaps not coincidentally, comes after Beats suddenly finds itself flush with cash in the wake of a $3bn acquisition by Apple. Cupertino opened up its checkbook to bring the Beats headphone line – cofounded by rapper Dr Dre, known for hits like Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang and F*** wit Dre Day – into its fold along with the company's streaming music service.

While the infusion of cash could make Beats a lucrative target, a tie-up with Apple also gives the company sizable legal resources. The iFirm itself is no stranger to patent litigation, engaging in a long-running courtroom war of attrition with Samsung and other Android hardware vendors. ®

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