Despite being the electronics company that spends the least on lawyers, at Cupertino we always find out every time they get into legal trouble. The latest thing we’ve heard is that the guys at THX have sued them for allegedly plagiarizing technology to design small speakers and maintain sound quality, a patent they filed back in 2008.
Many users have complained that the drastic, yet unnecessary, reduction in thickness on the new iMacs has affected sound quality, which has been somewhat reduced by the very thin portion of space devoted to the speakers. And that’s because THX, one of the companies founded by George Lucas and responsible for certifying many theater sound systems and hi-fi systems, is suing Apple for stealing speaker technology used in iPhone, iPad, and iMac .
This company was created to improve the sound systems in cinemas to ensure that Star Wars, also a George Lucas film, would be screened with the right sound quality. Years later it has been extended to all kinds of environments, and it also makes its presence felt on laptops or mobile phones.
THX filed a patent in 2008 related to speakers, where talks about how to improve the sound quality in thin equipment , such as flat TVs or computers. Apple has also filed similar patents, but they date from later years.
According to the company, Apple infringes this patent, causing them ” economic damage and irreparable harm “. Therefore THX demands from Cupertino’s people a financial compensation to repair the damages produced .
The accusation is a little bit tricky, but it’s not completely meaningless. Because the Californians hired the creator of the THX system : Tomlinson Holman. He joined Apple in mid-2011 to improve the sound quality of their computers.
On Bloomberg they tried to contact Cupertino’s Apple spokesperson, Colleen Patterson, but she refused to make a statement on the matter .