THX, the sound design company that was originally founded as a division for George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, has filed suit against Apple for allegedly infringing on one of their patents, specifically for “Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems.”
U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 is described as a method to enhance sound quality in compact speaker arrangements that are integrated into consumer electronics. The company claims that Apple’s iMac, iPad, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 infringe upon the patent. AppleInsider notes that the recently redesigned iMac most closely resembles THX’s patent, as it features “long channels that allow audio to be projected from the thin bottom edge of the machine.”
THX is claiming that Apple’s infringement on their patents has caused “monetary damage and irreparable harm” and is seeking an order to stop the infringement along with a reasonable royalty or damages to compensate the company for any lost profit.
Apple has until May 14 to meet with THX over initial disclosure, with initial disclosures due on June 7. This leaves the companies almost 2 months’ time to reach a settlement. Judging from numerous comments Apple CEO Tim Cook has made on preferring to settle, that might just be what happens here. Stay tuned!