THX has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company’s iPhones, iPads and iMacs infringe on one of their patents. Specifically, the privately held audio standards assurance company lays claim to a patent issued in 2008 for narrow profile speaker configurations and systems which they say Apple has infringed upon.
The company says Apple’s violation of the patent has caused monetary damage and irreparable harm. As such, lawyers for THX are seeking a court order in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to stop the alleged infringement along with reasonable royalty rates. Alternately, the company wants to be compensated for damages resulting from lost profit.
In their defense, Apple owns a significant patent portfolio including some related to the channeling of audio within electronic devices. One example of this is U.S. Patent No. 8,385,568 for "low-profile speaker arrangements for compact electronic devices," which was filed for about two years after THX was granted their patent.
THX as we know it today came about in 2001 as a spinoff of Lucasfilm Ltd. It was originally created back in 1983 for Lucasfilm to ensure the soundtrack of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi would be accurately reproduced. It’s been a stable in the movie industry ever since.
The two sides have until May 14 to resolve the dispute outside of court. If nothing can be hammered out before the deadline, the proceedings will move forward at that time. Naturally, neither Apple nor THX issued a statement when asked for comment by other news outlets.