Apple settles AirPods patent infringement case with Koss ahead of trial

After being accused of infringing patents on Koss’ wireless headphones, Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit over AirPods and Beats headphones, the companies said in a court filing on Saturday ahead of the trial scheduled for Monday.

Koss accused Apple of infringing patents in a 2020 lawsuit. At the time, the company claimed to have invented wireless headphones in general and true wireless in-ear headphones in particular:

Koss developed prototype in-ear headphones that built on its chip development efforts, with working prototypes from the mid-2000s looking a lot like well-known consumer products flooding the market a decade and a half later. late.

The first of the five specific claims appears to argue that Apple infringed a Koss patent on the technology underlying all wireless headphones.

The ‘025 patent generally describes wireless headphones that include a transceiver circuit for receiving the audio stream from a data source, such as a digital audio player or a computer, over a wireless network. […]

The accused headphones have no substantial non-infringing uses.

But days before the trial, Apple and Koss reached an agreement, according to Reuters. The details are unclear and neither the companies nor the lawyers are responding to requests for comment. Here is what the publication reports:

With trial in the case set to begin on Monday, the companies said in federal court in Waco, Texas, they have resolved allegations that Apple infringed Koss’ wireless headphone patents.

U.S. District Judge Alan Albright dismissed the case with prejudice the same day, indicating it cannot be refiled.

At the time, Koss sought royalties from sales of AirPods and Beats Wireless headphones in the Apple case, but Apple argued that its products did not violate any patents.

Saturday’s filing in Texas says the companies have settled “all contentious issues between them”, according to Reuters.

Koss has also sued other competitors for wireless headphone patent infringement, but those cases are now pending in other courts.

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