IPod Speaker Makers Unplug Bose’s Patent Suit

     (CN) – More than 100 speaker docks that connect with Apple products do not infringe on a patent for digital audio conversion owned by high-end audio maker Bose, a federal judge ruled.
     3XM Consulting, D.P.I. Inc., Imation Corp., Memorex Products and SDI Technologies manufacture 144 speaker products with a 30-pin dock that can connect with an iPod, iPhone or iPad.
     Bose claimed that the speakers infringed on its ‘765 patent for an interface unit that receives digital audio signals from the computer and converts the digital signals into analog audio signal.
     U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston found that 143 of the 144 products did not infringe on Bose’s patent, because Apple’s products contain the circuitry that converts the digital audio signal to an analog audio signal. The speaker dock merely transmits the digital control commands.
     “Bose does not allege that the accused device itself, or indeed, any of the common products, contain circuitry that converts a digital audio signal from an audio source to an audio analog signal,” Young wrote.
     “As Bose effectively conceded in their memorandum, the court’s construction of the ‘765 patent requires a holding of no infringement by these common products,” he added. “As every claim of patent requires an interface, and none of the common products contain a digital-to-analog converter, those products cannot infringe the ‘765 patent.”
     The 144th product, the iW1 made by SDI, connects wirelessly to an iPod and does contain circuitry to convert the digital signal to analog.
     Young said, however, that he was nevertheless satisfied with “SDI’s punctilious efforts upon being informed by Bose of potential infringement.”
     SDI relied in good faith upon the advice of counsel that the product did not infringe on Bose’s patent, the decision states.
     “As to the one hundred forty-fourth, no reasonable jury could find SDI had the intent necessary to support a finding of inducement,” Young wrote.

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