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Apple settles case over AirPods patent infringement with Koss before trial


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

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

Koss developed prototype in-ear headphones that relied on its chip development efforts, with working prototypes from the mid-2000s looking very much like commonly-known consumer products that flooded the market a decade-and-a-half later.

The first of the five specific claims appears to be arguing that Apple infringed a Koss patent on the underlying technology behind any wireless headphones.

The ‘025 Patent generally describes wireless earphones that comprise a transceiver circuit for receiving streaming audio 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 a few days before the trial, Apple and Koss reached a settlement, according to Reuters. The details are unclear and neither companies nor attorneys respond to requests for comments. Here’s what the publication reported:

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

US District Judge Alan Albright dismissed the case with prejudice the same day, which means it cannot be refiled.

At the time, Koss asked for royalties from sales of AirPods and wireless Beats headphones in the Apple case, but Apple argued that its products did not infringe any patents.

The Saturday filing in Texas says the companies have settled “all matters in controversy between them,” according to Reuters.

Koss also sued other competitors over wireless headphones patent infringement, but those cases are now pending in other courts.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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