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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > THX sues Apple over speaker technology patents

THX sues Apple over speaker technology patents
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Mar 15, 2013, 11:56 PM
 
THX, the pro-audio company originally founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, has sued Apple in federal court in California. The company alleges Apple is infringing on patents for a type of speaker unit that can boost sound output, granted to the company in 2008. It says the infringement is occurring in the iPhone, iPad and iMac products -- though how other iOS and Mac products are not guilty of the alleged infringement as well isn't explained. THX is seeking a sales injunction, royalties and damages.

THX is now an independent company, but was created in the late 70s to develop a system and set of standards for cinema sound systems to ensure that the audio content of films such as Star Wars could be consistently reproduced for theater-goers in all kinds of movie houses. Once part of Lucasfilm, it was named after Lucas' first professional movie, a dystopian sci-fi tale called THX-1138 that was based on a film done by Lucas in college.

The company also recently released its first mobile application for iOS, THX tune-up. The program lets users adjust the performance of TVs, projectors and speakers to achieve the best video and sound given the room acoustics and lighting.

In the lawsuit, THX says the patent infringement is causing the company "monetary damage and irreparable harm," but the company declined to comment on the case, saying only that it was a pending legal matter. An Apple spokesperson also declined to comment.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Mar 18, 2013 at 09:52 AM. )
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 07:58 AM
 
"The company also recently released its first mobile application for iOS, THX tune-up. The program lets users adjust the performance of TVs, projectors and speakers to achieve the best video and sound given the room acoustics and lighting."

Looks and sounds (pun intended) like biting the hand that feeds one
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 11:59 AM
 
THX must be hitting problems, if they ave to resort to such sideshows
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 12:01 PM
 
THX must be wanting to avoid problems, since they're working on protecting their patents.
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 12:05 PM
 
THX app is not doing too well because Apple iDevices's sound system already as good as it is.
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 02:29 PM
 
If it was Apple suing for the same type of reasons, they'd be heroes.

Because any other company is doing it - they must be in trouble. But as typical, no one is providing proof of such when making those statements.
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 05:20 PM
 
And you are just now finding this out and trying to do something about it?
     
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Mar 16, 2013, 11:47 PM
 
Speaking of providing proof, where's your proof that Apple would "be heroes" if they were the ones suing.. Oh yeah, there is none because the scenario only exists in your head.
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 01:17 AM
 
Wondering if they are suing now because there's no threat that Pixar movies won't use THX now (as payback).
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by jmonty12 View Post
Wondering if they are suing now because there's no threat that Pixar movies won't use THX now (as payback).
What does Pixar have to do with Apple?
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 08:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What does Pixar have to do with Apple?
Steve Jobs co-founded both companies and was the CEO of both for a time. Don't think there is any connection since Disney bought them.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Steve Jobs co-founded both companies and was the CEO of both for a time. Don't think there is any connection since Disney bought them.
Which is why I asked in present tense.

I'm well aware of the history.

But if you want to go back, you might as well mention that Pixar was bought from Lucasfilm, and THX is also ex-Lucasfilm.
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 02:52 PM
 
Yeah, nice come back dude.
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Which is why I asked in present tense.

I'm well aware of the history.

But if you want to go back, you might as well mention that Pixar was bought from Lucasfilm, and THX is also ex-Lucasfilm.
Why even bother asking if you know everything?
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 04:21 PM
 
Because I was responding to jmonty, and because I really can't help it if you, personally, can't grasp the idea of a rhetorical question, as used to make a point.
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Because I was responding to jmonty, and because I really can't help it if you, personally, can't grasp the idea of a rhetorical question, as used to make a point.
In a lot of threads you comment on it seems you can't resist the urge to attack people and put them down. Just added you to my ignore list...buh bye.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sebastien View Post
If it was Apple suing for the same type of reasons, they'd be heroes.

Because any other company is doing it - they must be in trouble. But as typical, no one is providing proof of such when making those statements.
I wasn't going to comment on this story for reasons explained below, but the inanity of this comment forced my hand.

I'm a big fan of Apple's stuff and generally how they run their business (most of the time), but having not seen the lawsuit or read the patents etc I actually have no opinion yet on who's "right" and who's "wrong" here, and I suspect that view would be shared by most people (if they'd even heard of the case) -- it's just too soon to tell.

Of course you are going to get some people who jump to conclusions -- going without proof. This being a predominately Mac-based forum (and not much of a THX fan forum), it's fairly predictable which way early uninformed sentiment might go -- but it seems to me that you've jumped to a conclusion yourself -- that one guy's opinion represents all Apple fans -- so may I introduce you to Mr. Kettle, who is also black.

But they are probably basing their pre-emptive opinion on Apple's track record in matters like this, which isn't flawless but is pretty stellar compared to most other computers -- thus there's a very good chance that they will ultimately be shown to be right. It's a bit like saying "Ooh, I'll bet Michael Jordan will play well in this basketball game" -- a conclusion that lacks facts to back it up, but draws from experience.

Yes, it's wrong of people to make assumptions without any real knowledge of the facts. In the real world, however, people do this all the time. Probably best to just get over it, or if you absolutely must plant your stake in the ground, simply remind people that it's really too early to judge.
Charles Martin
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Mar 18, 2013, 10:11 AM
 
"I wasn't going to comment on this story for reasons explained below, but the inanity of this comment forced my hand"


Poor you! Being "forced" to post a reply <sniff>
     
   
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