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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the stick-it-in-your-ear dept.

Patents 162

Bose has taken issue with some of the technology embodied in products in Apple's newly acquired Beats line of headphones. As Ars Technica reports, Bose is suing Apple, claiming that the Beats products violate five Bose patents, covering noise cancellation and signal processing Although Bose never mentions Apple in the 22-page complaint, the acquisition price of the private company may have played a part in spurring Bose to sue. The suit doesn't include a specific damage demand. Bose has also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against Beats over the same infringement claims. That means the patent lawsuit filed in federal court will be stayed while the ITC case gets resolved first.

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Typical (-1, Troll)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#47541813)

Those who can't create, litigate.

Re:Typical (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541831)

Only an ignorant troll would imply that Bose doesn't do original research. You're a troll.

Re:Typical (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541847)

Maybe, but as a guy who writes DSP software for a living, I took a look at that first patent and there's nothing original or creative about it that could possibly justify a patent -- and Bose must have known that when they filed it. I bet the USPTO clerk didn't have a fucking clue about DSP and was just impressed by fancy words. "Minimizing latency" my ass.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541899)

Then again, Apple being confronted with bogus patent claims doesn't sound unjustfied to me.

Apple probably even had a design patent in the pipeline. "...cylindrical or semi-spherical object that emits sounds..."

Re:Typical (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47542347)

you forgot about their patent that says only they can sue others for patent issues

Re:Typical (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542223)

If it was such a trivial thing, then why didn't you get the patent on it?

Re:Typical (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542311)

Hey McFly. Are you telling me you were doing DSP in the 1970's? Perhaps you think the gattling gun wasn't an innovation because you own a machine gun, too?

Re:Typical (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542371)

No ... but since any patent acquired in the 70s has long since elapsed, it's literally impossible to sue over work done then.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542919)

Hey, this is /. Where you will find all sorts of stuff made up out of the whole cloth pulled from their asses- just to validate what they feel to be truth.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542873)

Between you, me, and the fence-post, I'm of the considered opinion that most "Patent Examiners" are crackheads based on what I went through on my own legitimate patent filing. Some of the most ridiculous "refusals" and they basically rubber-stamp some of the most ludicrous crap.

Re:Typical (2, Interesting)

m00sh (2538182) | about 5 months ago | (#47543429)

Maybe, but as a guy who writes DSP software for a living, I took a look at that first patent and there's nothing original or creative about it that could possibly justify a patent -- and Bose must have known that when they filed it. I bet the USPTO clerk didn't have a fucking clue about DSP and was just impressed by fancy words. "Minimizing latency" my ass.

Modern patents are completely different than what people think patents are.

They are not necessarily clever inventions or designs anymore. They are just a way of laying stake to a field or method of doing things.

As an example, people think a better mouse trap would be what you'd file a patent for. No, actually, a company would file a patent for method of eliminating rodents. This would cover all forms of mouse traps that could ever be designed.

A few years ago, I thought I could learn how things are done by reading patents in a hardware/software field. All the patents were overly general, without any useful information and filled with language that only lawyers would use. On the other hand, I couldn't really design anything without "violating" patents because all the patents were so general that it could covered most general ideas that could be used. In fact, before I had read the patents I had some designs and those designs violated patents.

Re:Typical (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541883)

This is bit dated, but still quite relevant, The Bose FAQ [archive.org] from archive.org as latest version seem to have disappeared few years back from net.

Re:Typical (2)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#47541979)

Wow... So what have they created? Really, list anything they have done that either haven't been done before or not being well known.
Sony have created more in the audio business and they aren't the no. 1 inventor by far...

[Adding a lot of DSP effects and playing stuff at loud volumes isn't innovation BTW. Last I was shopping for headphones I thought that a Bose model looked interesting (albeit expensive) so I tried them in a in store test thingy... Which was interesting as even though there were good music playing and there were a volume control the lowest setting was far above my normal listening volume - I want to preserve my hearing to old age after all. It is well known that louder sounds like better quality so already there I knew that there were something strange going on.
Retested the same headphones later in a better audio store and frankly they were no better than a pair of modded Koss Porta Pro. They cost >10x as much though.]

Re:Typical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542123)

Right. So name their innovations except for these things that I for some reason claim aren't innovations.

Re:Typical (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47542345)

true, but im not sure admitting that beats ripped off bose is a good thing to do for the company. Beats are horrible when it comes to sound. admitting that they are using bose tech to me anyway would be like admitting bose isnt any good (thats a different discussion)

Re: Typical (1)

shitzu (931108) | about 5 months ago | (#47541841)

So - according to you - Beats create and Bose doesn't? What are you doing on slashdot?

Re:Typical (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 5 months ago | (#47541843)

"Those who can't create, litigate" --- who does this remind you of over last 2-3 years? Funny to see Apple whine about plays outta their OWN playbook

Re:Typical (2, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#47541851)

"Those who can't create, litigate" --- who does this remind you of over last 2-3 years? Funny to see Apple whine about plays outta their OWN playbook

A stupid post replying to an equally stupid post.

I thought Google was the patent troll, trying to get four billion dollars from Microsoft for h.264 related software patents and ending up having to pay Microsoft's bills. And there is Samsung threatened with a 13 billion Euro fine if they don't stop patent trolling in Europe.

In this case, Apple just has bought Beats, and has surely not done anything to infringe on Bose's patents. And from the description of these patents, they seem to be rather concrete and it should be not too difficult to find out if someone is infringing or not.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542069)

You're either trolling or obtuse.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543281)

I can't tell either.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542195)

And in USA Apple can wipe their ass on Samsung patents

Re: Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543101)

It doesn't matter if Apple hasn't done anything to infringe since the acquisition. when you buy a company, all their dirty laundry comes along for the ride. My employer bought a manufacturer of LASIK lasers several years ago, and literally two-thirds of our open product liability suits involve that company's products and issues that occurred prior to the acquisition.

Re:Typical (-1, Troll)

abhi_beckert (785219) | about 5 months ago | (#47541919)

"Those who can't create, litigate" --- who does this remind you of over last 2-3 years? Funny to see Apple whine about plays outta their OWN playbook

Apple filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010, and Samsung in 2011. According to Wikipedia, are the only two patent lawsuits Apple has ever filed in the entire history of the company.

Both those lawsuits only happened after Apple spent years trying to negotiate their disagreements without involving the legal system.

A company that has only filed two lawsuits hardly has a "playbook" for suing people for patent infringement.

Re: Typical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542093)

Well. Apple did sue Microsoft for imitating their OS way back then.

Re:Typical (0, Troll)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 5 months ago | (#47542113)

Apple filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010, and Samsung in 2011. According to Wikipedia, are the only two patent lawsuits Apple has ever filed in the entire history of the company.

Let's hear it for Wikipedia. The complete and unabridged source of all human knowledge.

Re:Typical (1)

msauve (701917) | about 5 months ago | (#47542167)

A refutation would involve simply pointing to another case of and Apple patent lawsuit. You're just trolling.

Re:Typical (0)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47542369)

"Those who can't create, litigate" --- who does this remind you of over last 2-3 years? Funny to see Apple whine about plays outta their OWN playbook

Apple filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010, and Samsung in 2011. According to Wikipedia, are the only two patent lawsuits Apple has ever filed in the entire history of the company.

You neglect truthiness. Arbiter doesn't like Alpple, and patent trolls, therefore it is only logical, right, and just that Apple is the biggest patent troll that ever existed. Pah! You and your facts!

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542601)

Your Wikipedia search was superficial if you missed the Apple - Samsung article. I expect the this lawsuit will ultimately turn out be the longest and most expensive in history. The patents at issue in Apple vs Samsung are mere software patents which may well be shakier than traditional patents.

Re:Typical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542605)

Only two? What are you, simple, or just trolling?

Here's another one [insidecounsel.com] just earlier this year:

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541849)

Wow you are a dumbass. Bose created it. Beats hasn't.

Re:Typical (2)

kuzb (724081) | about 5 months ago | (#47542151)

No, bose basically patented something that has been around for decades. They didn't create shit.

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542329)

There is a saying: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." You should heed it [answers.com] .

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542633)

Noise cancellation tech has been around since the 1950s. Shoving it into headphones and claiming patent rights is the equivalent of the all-too-common "doing it on teh internets".

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542773)

Great point. Microprocessors have been around for decades. Shrinking them down and getting them into a phone is an obvious invention. I can't believe everyone wasn't doing it in the 70s!

Re:Typical (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#47541999)

hmm.. bose.

hmm.. beats.

but what the fuck are the patents? it's not like beats has any innovation so what the fuck? is the patent on using a too big bass driver in combination with high frequency driver or what that fck? or patent on only using a low end driver?

Re:Typical (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542029)

Bose specifically alleges that Beats infringed on five US patents: patent 6,717,537, titled “Method and Apparatus for Minimizing Latency in Digital Signal Processing Systems;” patent 8,073,150, a “Dynamically Configurable ANR Signal Processing Topology;” patent 8,073,151, a “Dynamically Configurable ANR Filter Block Technology;” patent 8,054,992, which specifies a method for high frequency compensating; and patent 8,345,888, which covers “Digital High Frequency Phase Compensation.”

Re:Typical (4, Informative)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542293)

I can see why you think Dr. Dre is such a brilliant technilogical innovator and all, what with the "Dr." in his fake name and all, but ... you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Dr. Bose [wikipedia.org] (an actual Doctor, with an MIT Doctorate and everything!) is an innovator par excellence. If you go to their administration building at 100 The Mountain Rd. in Framingham Mass you will experience one of the coolest examples of his acoustic innovation. There is a very small word: BOSE set in stone on the floor. If you step on the B or E you will hear an audio reflection, and if you move ever so slightly over the the O and S it is 100% anechoic. All of this is done with zero electronics. Let's see you pull that off :-)

Just accross the parking lot is the Bose Research Building, where every design must pass a rigorous Design Assurance Engineering process. They have anechoic chambers, speaker torture (long-term testing) rooms where they do up and down, left and right, circular, and random vibration testing, CAD rooms and all kinds of research tools and methods you can't even imagine (e.g. Salt Fog testing for their Marine products)

In other words, you are about as far off base as a person can be on this one.

Re:Typical (1, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47542431)

Dr. Bose (an actual Doctor, with an MIT Doctorate and everything!) is an innovator par excellence.

Just accross the parking lot is the Bose Research Building, where every design must pass a rigorous Design Assurance Engineering process. They have anechoic chambers, speaker torture (long-term testing) rooms where they do up and down, left and right, circular, and random vibration testing, CAD rooms and all kinds of research tools and methods you can't even imagine (e.g. Salt Fog testing for their Marine products)

And with all this concentrated wonderfulness, and Doctor Bose's (an actual Doctor) Godlike status, Bose speakers are still marginal - at best.

You canna beat the laws of physics, laddie.

Re:Typical (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542461)

Yeah. OK Buddy. The funny thing is that you think Bose is a speaker company, thereby showing that you have no idea what Bose is or does.

Re:Typical (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47542777)

To be fair, they are a speaker company, and they were started to be a speaker company. The fact that they do a bunch of other stuff doesn't really change that. I've had some of their speakers (601 Series II [bose.com] ) and they just didn't sound good enough to justify the space they take up, although they actually could sound pretty good in a crappy room; up close they even sounded really crisp, whether they actually were or not. (The whole point was that they weren't, though.) You have got to be impressed by the way Bose can make a bunch of shitty drivers sound pretty decent for most kinds of music. Not impressed enough to buy them, but I got them for free. On that basis they were pretty fantastic.

My A8 also has Bose sound, and it doesn't exactly bowl me over either. Besides the crackling volume knob and the failed tape deck, it just doesn't really sound that amazing. When you get it nice and loud, it kind of goes to pieces. Since it's an extra-fancy Bose head unit (for 1997, mind you) and the changer uses a unique protocol, the only thing I can really replace it with is the same exact thing. There are kits to do otherwise, but then you really need to get into complete speaker wiring replacement.

Bose might do a lot more than this, and there might be a whole lot of solid engineering behind what they do, but pretty much everyone who doesn't know them for making undersized all-in-one systems with funky design (Bose "Wave", indeed, harrumph) knows them for making really expensive home speakers, or automotive audio systems which are often considerably expensive options which are (in terms of quality) inferior to getting the same sort of thing installed in the aftermarket.

tl;dr: Bose is a speaker company which refuses to publish typical test data even after they collect it, as well as a company which does other things — most of which are closely related to speakers.

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542833)

"To be fair, they are a speaker company"

No. To be fair, there is no sense in reading the rest of your post. The very issue this thread is discussing has almost nothing to do with speakers - at least in the traditional sense, so to be fair, you are making a ridiculous claim in a context where any moron should recognize it as such. I read the rest of your post anyway, and you go on to openly admit they make radios, for exampe, so to be fair you don't even believe your own bullshit.

Re:Typical (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47542895)

"To be fair, they are a speaker company"

No. To be fair, there is no sense in reading the rest of your post. [...] I read the rest of your post anyway,

I should probably rest my case here, since you just stuck a fork in yourself. But...

and you go on to openly admit

Out now!

they make radios, for exampe

Well, they also make them for car companies. And sadly, they are not very good, but more to the point here, those radios are designed specifically and explicitly to go with matched sets of their speakers. I should say that they're not very bad, either. I'd rather have a factory Bose than a factory Blaupunkt, for example. Faint praise, however, only serves to illustrate the point.

so to be fair you don't even believe your own bullshit.

If you can point to something I wrote and explain why it is bullshit, then do that. But you haven't managed that. Bose is first and foremost a speaker company. Their fancy suspension system so far cannot be made practically light and their radios go with and are always sold with their speakers. You might say that they are a speaker-and-truck seat [bose.com] company, though. Fancy!

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542955)

Read the first line you quoted moron: "To be fair, they are a speaker company"

If you are too stupid too figure out that you contradicted that statement about 20 times now then that's on you. Also, Nike is a shoe lace company, since most of their shoes have shoe laces.

Re:Typical (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47543229)

"To be fair, they are a speaker company"

No. To be fair, there is no sense in reading the rest of your post. The very issue this thread is discussing has almost nothing to do with speakers - at least in the traditional sense, so to be fair,

In some faraway universe, you might make sense.

Otherwise this thread is exactly about speakers and sound systems.

If somehow some way, Bose makes an awesome mousetrap, or some kind of gastraphagus that makes enemies shit their pants, that's all very nice. But tell me how the other stuff they do is relevent to them suing Apple?

You must have been a blast in debate class. Declaring the topic of the debate off topic.

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47543353)

You are an idiot. Go find out how active noise cancellation works, and then get back to us. When you can implement it using only speakers let us know, and by all means patent it. Until then you are just an idiot.

Re:Typical (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542965)

Thus sayeth the audiophile. A member of a crowd that says sloppy tubes are better (They "sound" better to many, but ARE they to everyone- and are they factually so?) and the like.

Sorry, your observations are preference observations, not objective ones, and preference can differ from person to person- and you're stating them as facts and in a way that if someone doesn't agree, they're not worthy. Keep it to, "in my opinion," or, "in my not so humble opinion," and you'll be fine. If not, keep it to yourself. Seriously.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542849)

So Bose doesn't sell shitty speakers? Cause I see their adds for shitty Bose speakers. They should sue the company selling shitty speakers labelled with their name. Dr. Bose did some great things, but the company that bears his name makes overpriced garbage. I'm surprised Bose isn't suing Beats over use of their marketing gimmick. But, please, do tell us all more about how awesome Bose is, shill.

Re:Typical (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47543195)

Yeah. OK Buddy. The funny thing is that you think Bose is a speaker company, thereby showing that you have no idea what Bose is or does.

Oh, awesome, smashing riposte. It's not like we were discussing Bose as related to their speakers as related to Beats, eh? Yeah - OK buddy.

I really don't give a stinky rat's ass about the other things Bose does, I'm just here to talk about the shitty audio of Bose and the equally shitty audio of Beats.

Which makes me think that Bose's best argument in this whole lawsuit is to demonstrate how both sound bad. If you want to have an argument about the other stuff Bose does, submit a story.

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47543337)

"Oh, awesome, smashing riposte. It's not like we were discussing Bose as related to their speakers as related to Beats, eh? "

That is correct. It is not like we were discussing Bose as related to their speakers as related to Beats. The suit is about their active noise cancellation. Evidently you don't know what that means. This is, of course, in direct congruence to your cluelessness in everything you have written.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542737)

Wow, exciting, sounds like the dome in the Complexe Desjardins in Montreal. Should we sue them too?

Re:Typical (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#47542795)

Really. There is a roughly 2 foot by 6 inch spot in the Complexe Desjardins that is anechoic, while the rest is not? I didn't think so.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542477)

"Those who can't create, litigate."

Not always. They sometimes post ridiculous statements that broadcast their ignorance to the world on Slashdot instead!

Bose is worried (5, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 5 months ago | (#47541863)

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

Re:Bose is worried (0)

abhi_beckert (785219) | about 5 months ago | (#47541923)

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

Bose also targets youth, although they do a terrible job of it and are getting their ass kicked by Beats.

And Beats also targets musicians with their "Pro" headphone which is not bass hungry at all and has higher quality than anything Bose has ever shipped. As far as I can tell, Beats Pro are some of the best studio headphones money can buy at the moment. If they weren't so expensive I would probably own a pair.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541943)

Ahhhhbullshit. Beats has nothing - NOTHING - that gets close to quality.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542025)

You haven't heard quality until you put on a pair of electrostatic headphones, they put the current market of products to shame. There is the little issue of having thousands of volts strapped to your noodle and needing an external power source...

Re:Bose is worried (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542115)

As far as I can tell, Beats Pro are some of the best studio headphones money can buy at the moment. If they weren't so expensive I would probably own a pair.

What are you, 19? Perhaps you should open both your eyes and ears and take a look at some companies who have been making cans for a LOT longer than a gansta rapper marketing to the ignorant.

Companies like Sennheiser, Shure, and Grados Labs have proven that music does not begin and end with bass.

And it doesn't surprise me that you think these sound good in the studio. The "studio" has managed to hyperbass and overprocess (excite) the living shit out of 99% of pop/rap music today, basically ruining it. Music "mastering" today is defined as turn up the bass and slap on some Autotune for this tone-deaf teeny bopper who can't sing for shit.

A perfect home for Beats.

Re:Bose is worried (4, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47542445)

As far as I can tell, Beats Pro are some of the best studio headphones money can buy at the moment. If they weren't so expensive I would probably own a pair.

What are you, 19? Perhaps you should open both your eyes and ears and take a look at some companies who have been making cans for a LOT longer than a gansta rapper marketing to the ignorant.

He's walkin' - they be hatin'. The Beebs sounds fucking awesome in Beets Pro. And they are unquestionably the best headphones for listening to autotune.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542435)

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

Bose also targets youth, although they do a terrible job of it and are getting their ass kicked by Beats.

And Beats also targets musicians with their "Pro" headphone which is not bass hungry at all and has higher quality than anything Bose has ever shipped. As far as I can tell, Beats Pro are some of the best studio headphones money can buy at the moment. If they weren't so expensive I would probably own a pair.

For $/€400 there's lots of established headphones that are much better than Beats Pro. For a bassy closed headphone the name that pops to mind is Sony, and the MDR-7520 seems to fit the bill. There are others also, but I can't remember which ones of the large number of headphone manufacturers made highly regarded bassy headphones.

For a pair headphones that says: "The Headphones Used To Mix In Every Major Studio.", they don't even put the frequency response or impedance that I can find. On random places the figures quoted seem to be 20Hz to 20kHz, which is what you get in your average $50 headphone. All they have on the product page is that the plug is 3.5mm. I think all studio headphones use 1/4" plugs, because that's what the equipment uses for headphone monitors outputs.

All in all, they don't really look like studio headphones, more like really expensive iPod accessories to be seen wearing.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541939)

Bose, quality? What planet are you on? They make low end trash and slap on a $150 badge for a $300 product.

Re:Bose is worried (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47541961)

They have a lot of work to do to convince people that Beats sound good.

This patent seems to be specifically about noise cancelling, which is the one area Bose is actually good at. Their noise cancelling does seem to be slightly better than the competition, e.g. Sony and Audio Technica. Only slightly though.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542101)

what? LOL. Bose does not and never has catered for the quality seeking crowds. Their products almost all sound like crap with quality removed in a skilled way. Bose and quality don't share the same consumer space.

Re:Bose is worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542103)

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

Speaking of "monster" moves, I wonder if Monster (as in Cable) will have anything to say in this suit (the early hardware by Beats carried the Monster label)

Re:Bose is worried (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 5 months ago | (#47542407)

> Bose targets the more mature ignorant quality-seeking crowd,

FTFY.

In what universe does Bose and quality even go together?!?!? They are a complete over-priced under-quality joke by many audiophiles. They are nowhere in the top ten at Hi-Fi http://www.head-fi.org/f/113/h... [head-fi.org]

Senn cans are consistently top rated. I.e. http://www.head-fi.org/product... [head-fi.org]

Maybe if Bose didn't sound like shit and actually listed* their technical specs such THR [wikipedia.org] -- oh wait Bose relies on ignorance and marketing just like Beats.

* Audioholics http://www.audioholics.com/edi... [audioholics.com]

Bose Corporation takes its psychoacoustics outlook right down to its controversial methods of published specifications, in that it does not publish specs by standard measured electrical and objective acoustic performance.

Re:Bose is worried (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 5 months ago | (#47543441)

Well, I never said Bose actually had quality, only that people perceive them as having it. I carefully worded it like that because while I agree with you, it was not the point I was trying to make. I'll stick to my Mad Dogs and DT880s.

Bose is suing Apple? (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#47541873)

Quick, Slashdotters - tell me who to hate!

Re:Bose is suing Apple? (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47542449)

Quick, Slashdotters - tell me who to hate!

Right about now, 93 Escort Wagon is pretty high on the list.....

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541889)

U.S. Patent No. 5,653,765 "the placebo effect"

Re:Obviously (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 months ago | (#47541953)

No, that's for a modular hip joint.

If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (4, Informative)

Chas (5144) | about 5 months ago | (#47541895)

Bose: They have infringed on our patents for crappy sound reproduction!

Beats/Apple: Crap! We got nothin'! We weren't expecting them to play the "blunt honesty" card!

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (5, Insightful)

Dupple (1016592) | about 5 months ago | (#47541903)

If there's no highs an lows, it's gotta be Bose...

If there's no mids and tweets, it gotta be Beats!

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (2)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 5 months ago | (#47541985)

So you're saying that if we combine a Bose and a Beats headset, we might actually get hi-fidelity sound?

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542031)

When has adding a crappy design to another crappy design ever worked out well?

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542067)

He was probably just joking.

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542207)

Crustacians.

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47542363)

windows?

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 5 months ago | (#47542405)

Either that or complete silence. You could use Depeche Mode to market these.

Re:If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542813)

No, bose speakers sound flat because modern music production sucks. If you don't overdrive the bass, than, ta da, you get the shittiness of the music.

Patent is for use without music? (3, Informative)

robbak (775424) | about 5 months ago | (#47542047)

The thing that commenters over at Ars haven't picked up on - this patent is only infringed if the customer wears the headphones without playing music. Noise cancellation with added music - OK, there's prior art for that. Turn the music off - it becomes patentable technology.

The claim states that Bose is on the hook because their documentation states that you can use the headphones without music for noise cancellation only, which induces their customers to infringe Bose's patents.

How is that legit? How can not adding music create a patentable technology?

Re:Patent is for use without music? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542141)

The thing that commenters over at Ars haven't picked up on - this patent is only infringed if the customer wears the headphones without playing music. Noise cancellation with added music - OK, there's prior art for that. Turn the music off - it becomes patentable technology.

The claim states that Bose is on the hook because their documentation states that you can use the headphones without music for noise cancellation only, which induces their customers to infringe Bose's patents.

How is that legit? How can not adding music create a patentable technology?

As a simple analysis, Bose created and patented the noise-cancelling headphone. They made it and marketed that rather directly as noise-cancelling headphones, initially and specifically designed to do one thing.

Those who have flown commercially anytime in the last fifteen years could not have missed it in airports and skymall, where they marketed the crap out of it.

Then someone comes along and adds bass boost and a headphone jack to that same exact product. While rather weak, I can easily see how this could be turned into a lawsuit in today's world. And primary or secondary functions (whether it be noise-cancelling or music) mean little here.

Re:Patent is for use without music? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 5 months ago | (#47542349)

As a simple analysis, Bose created and patented the noise-cancelling headphone. They made it and marketed that rather directly as noise-cancelling headphones, initially and specifically designed to do one thing..

Not really, the concept had been around a while, and pilots had been using them long before the first pair of Bose QCs hit the market. Bose, while he did a lot of research into ANR, popularized them for use outside of the cockpit. IMHO Bose are way overpriced, you can get a set of Audio Technica, or a if you prefer an open ear design, Sennheisers that cancel noise quite well for half the price of the Bose . A Sennheiser BT for about the same price but with BT. Al of them also work as regular headphones when the battery dies, unlike the Bose QCs.

Re:Patent is for use without music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542183)

It's a novel application. Novel applications of existing technology are patentable.

For example, I can patent the use of a blender as a piece of decorative furniture, or the hanging of a bicycle frame on the wall as a piece of art.

Re:Patent is for use without music? (4, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | about 5 months ago | (#47542199)

That doesn't have anything to do with the lawsuit. Bose's early patents on noise reduction had a fairly wide scope to them, trying to own the entire territory of reducing aircraft noise independently of the signal. They might even have been able to claim some sort of domain over anyone who plays headphones without music; I wasn't following patent silliness back then. But those products have been shipping since 1989, so any really fundamental patent in that area expired years ago.

What Bose did then was either file or acquire a series of patents on the obvious ways to build digital circuits for such noise reduction. You can't build any digital noise reduction system without tripping over at least one of them. In the tech industry, there are all these "on a computer!" patents people like to complain about. In audio, their version of that tactic is to patent some math in the form of a "Digital Signal Processing System". The first one is really blatant in that regard. Basically anyone who builds a digital circuit with things like a FIR [wikipedia.org] filter and applies it to audio noise reduction can expect a patent infringement. And Bose didn't even develop that one; they bought the patent [yahoo.com] specifically for the sort of extortion they're doing here, in the usual way Bose sues companies frivolously [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Patent is for use without music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542717)

Damn, and I just ran out of mod points. This needs some more visibility. 2 scummy companies and a broken patent system. Wish they could all destroy each other.

bad vs bad (3, Insightful)

kuzb (724081) | about 5 months ago | (#47542139)

Beats (and by extension, apple) is overpriced, overhyped shit. Bose is overpriced, overhyped shit. I sincerely hope they cost each other millions with this.

Re:bad vs bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542213)

So who does sell well priced headphones in your opinion?

Re:bad vs bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542759)

Check out a pair of Superlux HD-681's. For around fifty bucks, they sound very good and certainly better than both Beats and Bose.

Re:bad vs bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542225)

Fully agree. For the kind of money one could spend on a pair of bose or apple/beats headphones, you could own FAR superior ones by Shure, Audio Technica, Sony, Focal, Sennheiser and AKGs.

Re:bad vs bad (3, Funny)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 5 months ago | (#47542459)

That's just unfair, if your Bose(tm) and/or Beats(tm) headphones sound bad, you're probably just using cheap cables. They'll totally sound awesome if you make the necessary investment in Monster(tm) cables for them instead.

Re:bad vs bad (3, Informative)

strikethree (811449) | about 5 months ago | (#47543257)

Beats (and by extension, apple) is overpriced, overhyped shit. Bose is overpriced, overhyped shit.

I disagree. I have owned both sets of their "high end" noise cancelling headphones. Neither one is shit. Both are definitely over-hyped and overpriced, but they are not shit.

When you claim something is shit, you are claiming that it does not do what it says it will do. Both pairs of headphones reproduce the sounds that were intended in a reliable manner. That is a measure of quality. Both pairs of headphones provide some level of consistent noise cancellation. That is a measure of quality.

The Bose are better than the Beats at noise cancellation. The Beats are better than the Bose at convincing you that you are hearing bass, and slightly better at convincing you that you are hearing treble. Both are 3 times more expensive than a pair of Sennheiser (SP?) headphones that I have that reproduce sounds more like the original sound than the Bose or the Beats. Both pairs (Bose/Beats) sound like... I don't know: Cardboard? The only negative to the Sennheisers is that they do not do noise cancellation and they do not have batteries in them so they eat the battery of my phone. But play a FLAC file through them and OMG, they sound like sex compared to Bose or Beats.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542219)

Apple is being hit by a dubious patent claim, from a company that does have a product but probably didn't invent anything, after extensive lobbying to allow exactly this sort of situation. They so deserve this. I would say "live by the sword, die by the sword" but I don't think Apple is actually in any risk of dying.

Re:Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542343)

You are an idiot. Bose literally created the first noise cancellation headphones, many years ago.

Re:Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543189)

except they litterally didn't because active noise canceling headphones where used in aviation way before bose made a nockoff.

Bose is more American (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542323)

Everyone complains about boses cost, the are based in Massachusetts and they have a plant in South Carolina for 1/2 their stuff. Where do the other companies build there stuff.

Re:Bose is more American (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 5 months ago | (#47542655)

You're missing the point.

Bose is over priced crap. You can buy significantly better quality headphones for half the cost.

Two questions (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 5 months ago | (#47542679)

A) Why didn't Bose sue Beats BEFORE Apple bought them? That makes this case sound much more about targeting a cash hoard than anything else.
2) Why didn't Apple buy Bose? Aside from the obvious answer that Apple bought branding instead of technology, Bose surely must have something Apple would want. If not, then the Beats acquisition is only about image which doesn't make much sense given that Apple has been pretty good at creating their own image over the last 10+ years.

Two questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543205)

Apple bought Beats for the online-music streaming service Beats was launching, including all the licensing deals that they already completed with record companies. Apple's own crappy headphones were already better then Beats'.

Who Cares? (2, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | about 5 months ago | (#47543109)

Bose is an over-priced lifestyle product for the middle aged. Beats is an over-priced status symbol for teens. Both groups of people are unaware that products equal specs can be purchased for much less and that superior products can be purchased for the same price.

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