Apple sued by THX for allegedly misusing patented speaker tech in iPhone, iPad and iMac

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  • Reply 21 of 57
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Hmmm. I thought you can't patent a shape. /s
  • Reply 22 of 57

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hydr View Post



    Mobile has become HUGE. Everyone wants a bite. The next few years will be very interesting in regards to patent lawsuits, and as a result will bring some much sought after reform.

     


    The lawyers agreed to disagree... this is just a paycheck for the lawyers on both sides to whittle down the .10USD (guess) per iDevice Royalty, to .001USD (apple's through away 'offer' [they want free]).  My guess THX  will settle somewhere around 1-3 cents per unit (upwards of what... $200K per year, and soon approach $1M... and setting the case for all these other tablet/iphone manufacturers), and The lawyers about 250KUSD per side if it goes to court.

  • Reply 23 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

    Let's boycott Star Wars! Anyway, it seems it will suck.


     


    I enjoyed the originals for what they were and the prequels because they were terrible. 


     


    I look forward to Star Wars Episode VII: The Jar Jar Clones Racially Offend Back.

  • Reply 24 of 57
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post





    If every review says the new iMacs speaker suck, maybe those that purchased one should sue THX technology?!


     


    AIO speakers suck regardless of the mfg.  Come on, I don't people are buying AIO computers to replace an existing stereo system.  They are just a basic audio system and that's all they are, over time they might have some improvements hear and there, but they can't compare to a REAL audio system designed from the ground up to be an audio system.

  • Reply 25 of 57


    lol everyone else steals, apple allegedly misuses ;p

  • Reply 26 of 57
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post


     


    Not so fast there, Sparky: didn't THX certification come out in the early-to-mid 1980s?



    The specification was in 1983 not the company, the spec was formed when it was part of Lucas Film.   The company was formed when it was spun off from Lucas Film in 2001.  


     


     


     


    Quote:


    THX is a high-fidelity audio/visual reproduction standard for movie theaters, screening rooms, home theaters,computer speakers, gaming consoles, and car audio systems. The current THX was created in 2001 when itspun off from Lucasfilm Ltd. THX was developed by Tomlinson Holman at George Lucas's company,Lucasfilm, in 1983 to ensure that the soundtrack for the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, would be accurately reproduced in the best venues. THX was named after Holman, with the "X" standing for "crossover"[1] as well as a homage to Lucas's first film, THX 1138. The distinctive crescendo used in the THX trailers, created by Holman's coworker James A. Moorer, is known as the "Deep Note".



    Just a history quote from wikipedia, but you can read the same on THX's website.

  • Reply 27 of 57
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Although the original THX theater certification really did mean something, and was implemented at a time when theater sound was hit or miss, with mostly misses.


     


    That was at a time when Lucas (and Coppola) were advancing the state of the art by creating elaborate, multichannel soundtracks (and creating the job title of "sound designer") but there were few venues that could do justice to what they were creating.  Dolby "stereo" (actually four track) was the de facto standard, but venue specific implementations could be really, really bad, way worse than even mediocre stereo because if the channel steering was off or the speakers not up to par or the room acoustically poor you could wind up with unintelligible dialogue, muddy, intrusive bass, random surround,  etc.


     


    THX certification was a way of leveraging Lucas' clout (this was in advance of Star Wars Episode 6) to get theaters to upgrade to properly implemented surround, which had only been around for a few years at that point (starting with Apocalypse Now).  It gave venues an easily recognizable brand that they could market and it gave the filmmakers some assurance that audiences would hear what they intended.



    THX certification didn't really have all that much to do with surround specifically.    It had to do with certifying that noise levels in a theatre (primarily from HVAC systems) were minimized, EQing the acoustics of a theatre and with certain minimum standards for the amplifiers and speakers, which mainly had to do with distortion levels and frequency response. All of this applied whether the theatre was mono or 70mm split surround.   In addition, THX leased theatres an electronic crossover for the speakers and you had to mount the speakers onto a large front surface, usually made of plywood.   


     


    The idea of THX was to gain consistency so that the mixer and theatre patrons would hear essentially the same thing, but it didn't really work.    In practice, different THX theaters sounded very different from each other.    The Coronet in San Francisco sounded spectacular, but the certified screens at the Chelsea in NYC sounded "ordinary".     The other problem was that while Los Angeles and San Francisco theaters would advertise that they were THX certified, the few New York theaters that were certified did not.    Over time, theaters dropped out of the program because they had to pay for recertification each year and most (especially if they didn't advertise the fact that they were THX) didn't perceive a financial return from the investment.    And patrons, if they were aware at all, thought that THX was simply another sound playback format, like Dolby Stereo, which it wasn't. 


     


    As of late 1997, Nevada had the highest percentage of THX certified screens (45 out of 146), but California had the highest overall number (260 out of 2924).   But overall, only 3.1% of U.S. screens were certified.  


     


     



     


    This is a photo of the THX mounted speakers at the AMPAS theatre.   Since speakers always had "wings", I don't know how THX can claim  patent on simply adding flat fronts, if that's indeed what they're claiming as part of the lawsuit.    

  • Reply 28 of 57
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post





    I believe they were spun off in 2002.



    Also, aren't they owned by Creative now?


    You are correct except it was 2001 there were spun off:


     


     


    Quote:


    THX is currently owned by sound card manufacturer Creative Labs, which holds a 60% share of the company. The company has had a long history with Creative, and was responsible for the creation of the first THX-certified audio card for computers, the Sound Blaster Audigy 2.



    Another wikipedia quote but accurate.

  • Reply 29 of 57
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


     


    AIO speakers suck regardless of the mfg.  Come on, I don't people are buying AIO computers to replace an existing stereo system.  They are just a basic audio system and that's all they are, over time they might have some improvements hear and there, but they can't compare to a REAL audio system designed from the ground up to be an audio system.





    These things are more likely to be criticized when it comes to Apple as they have a limited number of products in their lineup, and other machines can't legally run OSX.

  • Reply 30 of 57
    If I was THX I wouldn't be trying to grab credit for the iPhones speakers. My iPhone4s speakers sucks and I guess that's because of the THX design.
  • Reply 31 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by simmadownnow View Post

    My iPhone4s speakers sucks and I guess that's because of the THX design.




    Or the fact that it's a phone.

  • Reply 32 of 57
    I was one of the few acoustic engineers at THX working on this speaker technology for years. I no longer work there. There is a case against Apple, but I believe they can get out of it by looking at prior art and the bandwidths used in the patent.
  • Reply 33 of 57
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member


    Apple sues someone for patent infringement and there is widespread crucification of the accused. Someone else sues Apple and there is suddenly a display of open-mindedness: Oh maybe there is prior art. Maybe this. Maybe that. Objectivity and credibility be damned.

  • Reply 34 of 57
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Apple sues someone for patent infringement and there is widespread crucification of the accused. Someone else sues Apple and there is suddenly a display of open-mindedness: Oh maybe there is prior art. Maybe this. Maybe that. Objectivity and credibility be damned.



    Don't tell me you just noticed this.

  • Reply 35 of 57
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gravytrain View Post



    I was one of the few acoustic engineers at THX working on this speaker technology for years. I no longer work there. There is a case against Apple, but I believe they can get out of it by looking at prior art and the bandwidths used in the patent.




    Cool! What was it like working there? A blast? ;)

  • Reply 36 of 57
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member


    THE LAWYERS ARE LISTENING.


     


    image

  • Reply 37 of 57
    woochiferwoochifer Posts: 385member
    THX has become nothing more than a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. When Lucasfilm debuted the original Theater Alignment Program (TAP) in 1983, it served a useful purpose by establishing some minimum standards for equipment performance and theater auditorium acoustics, which in those days was wildly inconsistent from one venue to another. Once THX diversified into home theater and computer audio, it diluted the entire program. In fact, for home theater, THX's original mandate of requiring dipolar speakers for the surround channels actually degraded the surround performance for home theater-specific 5.1 (and 7.1) movie soundtracks and multichannel music. And in recent years, I've seen more and more manufacturers dropping their THX licenses, and it seems that more movie theaters are also opting out of the THX program.

    I suspect that these patents have more to do with creating proprietary design features that THX licensees can use for marketing purposes. The reality is that THX certification brings nothing unique to the table, and non-THX equipment can easily match or exceed the THX standards. As others have mentioned, wave guide speaker designs have been around for decades, and from what I see, this particular design brings nothing new to the table. If anything, it's a simplified implementation of principles that companies like Bose, Klipsch, and others have used for decades.
  • Reply 38 of 57


    I just heard them. They actualy sound a lot better than my 27" iMac (2010) speakers


    ...In my opinion.

  • Reply 39 of 57
    joshajosha Posts: 901member


    Gosh, that looks like my idea from about 40 yrs ago.


    Darn it,


    I could have played the patent game and been rich off of Apple's back.

  • Reply 40 of 57
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Apple sues someone for patent infringement and there is widespread crucification of the accused. Someone else sues Apple and there is suddenly a display of open-mindedness: Oh maybe there is prior art. Maybe this. Maybe that. Objectivity and credibility be damned.





    It is dumb, but note how many of those posts are attached to accounts with 1-10 total posts.

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