THX sues Apple over iMac speakers

Audio firm THX have entered into a lawsuit with Apple, alleging that the Californian tech giant infringed on one of its patents by releasing certain speaker units in the new slimline iMac.

The audio company, founded by George Lucas in 1983, holds a patent granted in 2008 for "a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions," according to the complaint details filed yesterday in San Jose, California.

Whilst the court filing specifies both iPhones and iPads to also be infringing devices, AppleInsider notes that the newly released slimline iMacs use the exact audio design as described by THX. According to the lawsuit, though, any Apple device that uses the infringing speaker units are subject to legal action, causing "monetary damage and irreparable harm" to the company.

Both companies are more likely to prefer a settlement, however, before entering into a full-scale courtroom disagreement, Engadget reports.

The lawsuit follows in a line of bodies seeking legal action against Apple, the latest being a class-action suit against the company regarding ghosting on new Retina MacBook pro screens, reported yesterday.

Source: Bloomberg via Engadget | Image via THX

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21 Comments

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patent has gradually become a joke and has done nothing but creating substantial of problem for every company. Patent has become meaningless. It no longer protect our idea and prevent someone else from stealing it. something is terribly wrong with the system. It no longer serve as a purpose.

Seems to me that a great number of lawyers for major companies, such as Apple, need to be terminated. Their job is to not only protect the investments and interests of the company they work for, but to also ensure the products/services produced are either licensed for use by the copyright owner or not used at all.

a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions

that is not exactly clear... i wonder if the tech was stolen or was just something that naturally happen to be similar.

Ladislav Horváth said,
It looks like THX standards are pretty low these days, because sound quality of new iMac is poor.

I never use the default speakers.... I use after market speakers such as Logitech, etc..

Ladislav Horváth said,
It looks like THX standards are pretty low these days, because sound quality of new iMac is poor.

Infringing a single patents isn't to say that Apple is copying all that goes into THX sound quality...

'THX certified' means very little when it comes to sound quality and is more of a marketing prop than it is a measure of quality.

High-end audio companies generally don't bother with THX certification.

shozilla said,

I never use the default speakers.... I use after market speakers such as Logitech, etc..


so you replace crappy built in speakers with crappy after market ones?

Seems that you haven't found the best speakers, have you?

Everyone is entitled to their preferences when they come up to the speakers. Lot of brands available in the market.. Some are crap, some are okay, some are best..

All you do is go out to the stores and listen to demo speakers and find the best one for you..

I haven't said what brand I use... so instead, I use "after market" which I said "such as Logitech, etc" meaning there are many speakers available in the market for you to choose from depends what you use the speakers for.

shozilla said,
I haven't said what brand I use... so instead, I use "after market" which I said "such as Logitech, etc" meaning there are many speakers available in the market for you to choose from depends what you use the speakers for.


The problem is Logitech is not a good example, not even the Z5500 which are known to blow up after extended high volume use (something I expect from a 500w RMS unit).
Notice how I'm not only talking about audio quality which can be subjective, but more about build quality and durability. Money spent on a Logitech set might be good for the short term, but their crappiness (in all senses) will hit you in the long term.

Duh... I know Logitech is crap but I was talking about general... "after market" means ALL brands available for you to choose ... I don't need to hear how crap or good on their speakers.... That's why I put "etc." For example, "You can buy a car from any dealer such as Ford, Chevrolet, etc. there are so many vehicles available you to choose from.. I don't care how good or bad..

If I want to know about the specific product, I can look up for more information about it before I buy it. That's what the research is for. You research the info about a product you plan to buy..

I am not going to list all brands who make speakers on here ... you have to research and find the speakers that you like the best.

Ladislav Horváth said,
It looks like THX standards are pretty low these days, because sound quality of new iMac is poor.
Your reading skills are obviously quite poor too. They aren't THX speakers.