Apple's caught in a legal tangle once again, and this time it comes from THX, a company founded by Star Wars producer George Lucas, Bloomberg reports. As per reports, THX has alleged that the Cupertino-based brand has infringed on its speaker technology that the latter uses in its iPhones, iPads and Mac products.
The company has filed a complaint with U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. THX's patented technology is a speaker unit that can enhance sound output and can be attached to computers or flat-screen televisions. THX has alleged in its complaint that the Apple products that use these speaker units infringe upon their patent and have hence caused them “monetary damage and irreparable harm”. THX is now seeking a court order to end the alleged infringement and royalty or damages to compensate it for its lost profits.
Another patent lawsuit!
While only time will tell how Apple's patent lawsuit with THX pans out, its tiff with Samsung has been on for really long now. Earlier this month, Apple won a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in the UK. Justice Floyd of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales dismissed three of Samsung's standard-essential patent (SEP) claims against Apple. The three patents pertained to processing and transmitting data on 3G mobile networks, Florian Mueller wrote on his Foss Patents blog. Samsung was reportedly disappointed with the court's decision, and a spokeswoman stated that the company will decide on filing an appeal after thoroughly reviewing the judgment.
The South Korean giant recently lost its 22nd SEP assertion against Apple in Japan. Mueller notes that in addition to losing over two dozen SEP assertions, Samsung has been unable to put into effect any non-SEP claims anywhere in the world. Needless to add, the ruling has dealt a blow to Samsung in its ongoing patent tussle with Apple.
Earlier this month, there came a major twist to the two giants' prolonged patent battle after a federal judge reduced the damages Samsung was supposed to pay to Apple. US District Court Judge Lucy Koh reduced the damages by $450.5 million, saying jurors had not properly followed her instructions while calculating some of the damages.
Judge Koh also stated that there had been errors in determining when Apple first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of the patents for its trendsetting iPhone and iPad. The ruling reduced Samsung Electronics' bill to just under $599 million.
Nokia has also jumped into the ring to support Apple's bid to secure permanent injunctions against several Samsung smartphones. The Finnish manufacturer is so far the only third-party entity to come forward and back Apple’s longstanding appeal.
The brief was filed recently at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington under lock and key, but there’s a summary attached that makes for interesting reading. In the filing, Nokia attorney Keith Broyles argued that Koh made a mistake by ruling that the iPhone maker must establish a “causal nexus” between their patents and the demand for its phones in order to secure the permanent injunction. A rule such as this “could cause wide-ranging damage to the United States patent protection landscape,” Nokia said.