Last week, THX Ltd. filed a patent infringement case with the U.S. District Court , Northern District of California against Apple Inc., claiming that the company’s iPad and “other devices” violate its design patent for narrow-profile speakers.
According to Law360, U.S. Patent 7,433,483 “covers a narrow profile speaker unit meant to improve the audio quality of electronic devices without the need for external speakers.” The theater acoustics company, originally created in 1983 by George Lucas, believes that Apple is using that design in its mobile and desktop devices.
“Apple’s infringement of the ’483 patent has caused and will continue to cause THX both monetary damage and irreparable harm for which it has no adequate remedy at law,” claims the audio company.
The patent, titled Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems” was issued in 2008 and involves speakers that can be either built into electronic devices or attached to them. The audio is transmitted through a narrow sound output opening and the size of said opening alters the shape of the sound waves.
Neither Apple, Inc. nor THX, Ltd. was willing to speak about the impending court trial to news organizations. The case, THX, Ltd. v. Apple, Inc. (Case # 13-1161), is scheduled to be heard in June.