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Apple looks to resolve THX speaker tech patent suit out of court

Lawyers for Apple and THX are currently working to resolve a patent lawsuit between the two companies without the matter having to head to court.

iphone 4s

Illustration of one embodiment of the '483 patent (top), and another of the narrow sound duct
situated at a right angle in relation to the driver units (bottom). | Source: USPTO

The dispute in question stems from THX's decision to sue Apple in March of this year over infringement on U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483. While the suit is scheduled to begin the case-management process on June 14, Bloomberg reports that attorneys for the two companies have filed a request to postpone that hearing until June 26.

"The parties are currently attempting to resolve this matter outside of this litigation," the filing explains.

THX's suit claims infringement on a patent for "narrow profile speaker configurations and systems," and the George Lucas-founded company secured that patent in 2008. The patent covers methods to effectively enhance sound quality in compact speaker arrangements integrated into consumer electronics. THX says that Apple's bestselling iPhone and iPad products, as well as some iMac models, infringe on the patent.

THX claimed that Apple's infringement caused it "monetary damage and irreparable harm," and sought a court order to stop the infringement and secure a reasonable royalty, as well as damages to compensate for lost profit.

The case in question is THX Ltd. v. Apple Inc. (AAPL), 13-01161, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).