THX sued Apple for infringing Speaker Patent

In California Federal Court IPNews® - THX, Ltd. lodged a complaint in March 2013 against Apple, Inc. claiming that the Apple Corporation is infringing its patent for narrow-profile speakers.

THX, a cinematic acoustics company founded by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, filed the complaint in San Francisco claiming that Apple is selling and importing products that infringe its narrow-profile speaker patent.  THX is seeking damages and an injunction prohibiting Apple from continuing the infringement.

The complaint alleges that various Apple devices, including the popular iPhone 4 and the iPad, infringe U.S. Patent Number 7,433,483.  The ‘483 patent covers technology for narrow-profile speakers that can be used in small devices to improve sound without the need for external speakers.

In the complaint THX states that Apple is “among other things, making, using, importing, offering to sell, and/or selling in the United States products covered by one or more claims of the ‘483 patent…including but not limited to Apple’s iPhone4 and later models, as well as its iPad, and iMac products.”

THX’s patent, titled “Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems” was granted in 2008 and covers speakers that are meant to be used in small electronic devices including computers and flat-screen devices.  The speakers according to the patent description can also be used in cars.  The narrow-profile speakers emit sound through a narrow opening and the size of the opening modifies the shape of the sound waves, altering the sound emitted, according to the patent description.

THX claims that Apple has been making and importing various electronic devices that infringe its ‘483 patent and that Apple’s patent infringement will cause irreparable harm to THX and therefore the technology giant must be stopped immediately.

THX is seeking a declaratory judgment that Apple has infringed the ‘483 patent, a permanent injunction prohibiting Apple from continuing to infringe the patent. THX is also seeking for  damages, prejudgment interest, costs and attorney fees.