Apple has been sued for trademark infringement by Randolph Divisions, the company behind the HearPod digital hearing aid, CNET reports. Late last week, Randolph Divisions filed a lawsuit at the Hawaii District Court, alleging that the Cupertino company's EarPods infringes upon its registered “Hearpods” trademark. The company reportedly filed for the name in February 2005.
In its complaint, the company argues that the EarPods and Hearpods “are similar in nature in that, among other things, they are inserted into the ears of their users and are used to facilitate and enhance the transmission of sounds to the users.”
Reportedly, Hearpod Inc. spent over $625,000 towards promoting the products with that name and has earned over more than $1.7 million in sales. It now wants Apple to stop selling Earpods and pay damages.
Facing heat over Earpods
When Apple raised the curtains on the iPhone 5, apart from the redesigned dock connector known as Lightning, the brand also took the opportunity to showcase its new line-up of earphones, which they have dubbed EarPods. A neat feature of these EarPods is that they are ergonomically designed and many Apple users had voiced their opinion in various forums claiming that the previous earphones were in desperate need of an upgrade. While Apple changed the design of the earphones, they also added a mic to it so that it can be used for hands free calling or for making calls over FaceTime.
It now remains to be seen how this case between the two parties develops. Meanwhile, its tiff with Samsung has been on for really long now. Earlier last 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 last 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.