Bose is suing Beats over alleged infringement of its noise cancellation patents. Last Friday, the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Delaware, alleging that Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones use technology that infringes five of its patents.
Prior to the lawsuit, the company also filed a similar complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over the issue. The lawsuit is likely to be put on hold while the ITC case is pending.
According to Bose, it started working on its noise-cancelling technology almost four decades ago and began selling its QuietComfort headphones in 2000. The company is now seeking to prevent Beats’ noise-cancelation headphones from being imported into the United States from China.
"Because Bose invests heavily in research and development, and because Bose has built its reputation on producing superior products through innovative technology, Bose's continued success depends in substantial part on its ability to establish, maintain, and protect its proprietary technology through enforcement of its patent rights," the company said.
Beats declined to comment. Founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre, co-founder of the seminal hip-hop group N.W.A., and music producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics captured 64% of the $100-and-up headphone market in 2012.
Back in May, Apple announced that it would acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music, the streaming music service that launched in January, for US $3 billion, making it the largest acquisition in the iPhone-maker's history. The deal is expected to close in the current quarter.
Earlier this month, Beats sued unnamed Chinese businesses and individuals, claiming that they sold counterfeit Beats products over the Internet. The company termed it a “worldwide anti-counterfeiting program” that regularly scans websites and marketplaces for suspicious products.