These days, as we are constantly surrounded by noise and seek personal respite, noise cancellation is an increasingly popular – sometimes necessary – technology that subtracts noise in the surroundings from what is heard through a headset. This technology has proven to be “big money.”
Two companies, Beats Electronics (now owned by Apple) and Bose Corporation, are capable of providing this kind of quality sound through their headphones. Unfortunately, they have been at odds with one another and have been in court since July over five patents that control the suppression of background noise in their products.
Both companies manufacture their headphones in China, a key point, since Bose was seeking to prevent Beats from bringing its products into the U.S. Moreover, Bose claimed patent infringement and sought damages as well.
Outside the court case, Bose sought investigation of both Beats and its contractors. It brought its complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission.
And on top of judicial and administrative action, there are additional items for this story. It turns out that Bose, as an NFL sponsor, was offended when a San Francisco Giants team member wore its competitor’s Beats headset to a postgame event. The effect? Bose’s sponsorship was supporting the advertisement of its competitor!
The word is that Bose and Beats have settled their disagreement. Bose has sought to end all judicial and administrative actions. Officially, the whole thing is “settled,” but details have not been made public.
It has been observed that Apple appears to have more interest in its streaming-music system and not on accessories like Beats with its headphones. Apple really added to its streaming capabilities by purchasing Beats Music, a streaming subscription service, and may not have had so much interest in Beats hardware and this suit.