Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is used to putting its lawyers in a courtroom or across a negotiating table. Many times the company is involved in lawsuits over infringed patents that involve direct competitors in the tech industry. This case that we’re writing about now just might involve a Jedi Knight, the Millennium Falcon and Jar Jar Binks.
OK, so maybe not Jar Jar. But it might take a Jedi mind trick to settle this dispute between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and THX Ltd., a sound-engineering company founded by “Star Wars” director George Lucas. THX, which is now owned by Creative Labs after Lucasfilm Ltd. sold it off in 2002, filed a lawsuit in federal court in March claiming that Apple infringed on a 2008 patent that involves “narrow-profile speaker designs” that improve the sound that comes out of the speakers. THX is claiming that the infringing devices are the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and a couple of iPad and iMac models.
Since the suit was filed, both sides have reportedly been working to settle the case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 14, but both sides filed a request to postpone until late July while negotiations take place. THX was seeking monetary damages or royalties as well as a injunction on the infringement.
The patent in question is designed for use on flat-screen televisions and computers due to the engineering which boosts the output of the sound from a smaller, thinner speaker. And an interesting bit of coincidence – THX Ltd. has its own Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS app called THX TuneUp, which allows iOS users to adjust the audio performance of speakers, televisions and projectors.
What are your thoughts about this lawsuit, and about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) aiming to settle? Do you think the Imperial Empire will invade Apple’s “spaceship” headquarters? Is Tim Cook really Darth Vader? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.