Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Iphone Music Patents The Courts Wireless Networking Apple

Judge Rules iDevice Speaker Docks Don't Infringe On Bose Patent 67

Posted by timothy
from the but-they-are-of-course-computers dept.
CIStud writes "A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has ruled that iPod, iPad and iPhone speakers docks do not infringe on a patent owned by Bose Corp. for digital audio conversion. The ruling in the case of Bose vs. small dock speaker makers SDI, DPI, Imation and others reportedly was a test case that would have set precedent for potential patent infringement by other manufacturers... and even Apple... according to the defendant's legal team. At issue: Is an iPhone, iPad or iPod a 'computer.' The judge says they aren't."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Judge Rules iDevice Speaker Docks Don't Infringe On Bose Patent

Comments Filter:
  • Apple has patented round corners. Apple has patented the double click. Apple has patented the scrollbar. Apple has patented speakers, but only for non-computers.

    I'm so tired of this "I can piss while lumping at the same time. Even if you can do it I have patented it so you have to pay me." Fuck these idiots till they die. (Is fuck-till-death patented, by the way?)

    • Is fuck-till-death patented, by the way?

      Probably counts as an artistic or cultural expression, so subject to copyright rather than patent (despite its obvious utility). If you make videos, you can copyright them.

      • by fatphil (181876)
        The act copyrightable, but the name - surely trademarkable! Waste no time registering it.
        • Great, another patent 'category' to go with:

          -over the internet
          -with a computer
          -with a wireless connection
          -using a database

          we add
          -with a mobile device

    • by ZosX (517789)

      Apple has patented round corners. Apple has patented the double click. Apple has patented the scrollbar. Apple has patented speakers, but only for non-computers.

      I'm so tired of this "I can piss while lumping at the same time. Even if you can do it I have patented it so you have to pay me." Fuck these idiots till they die. (Is fuck-till-death patented, by the way?)

      I just filed an application! Fuck death copycats look out!

    • Did you actually RTFA, or even UTFS? Bose, not Apple, sued small manufacturers and LOST the case. This is a win for the small chaps!!!!

      • I didn't RTF* but it's obvious that Bose has prior art on expensive, shiny, thin stuff to show off to people, that has some audio related secondary function. Waaayyy before apple. Probably they were ashamed of patenting the concept as it is. Too bad, they'd have apple by the cojones if they did.

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday July 14, 2012 @11:55AM (#40648915)

      Maybe they should patent reading the fucking article - you'd be in no danger of infringing.

    • Not to ruin a perfectly good rant, but Apple wasn't actually involved in this case. It was a suit brought by Bose against the makers of third party speaker docks for i-devices.

  • For an iPod, the question is unclear. But for iPad and iPhone, I'd have thought the consensus was that they count as computers. Even Apple thinks so...
    • For an iPod, the question is unclear.

      An iPod touch is an iPhone without a cellular radio. As far as I can tell, Apple has been deemphasizing its iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod classic product lines in favor of iPod touch and other iOS devices.

      But for iPad and iPhone, I'd have thought the consensus was that they count as computers.

      The microcontroller in a microwave oven is a "computer". The engine control unit in a car is a "computer". A video game console is a "computer". But that doesn't make them general-purpose computers in the sense that the average person thinks of when hearing "computer". An iOS device is not general-pur

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Besides, this stuff is getting crazy. Somebody designs a system. Somebody else says, hey, if we moved this component of the system from right here to over there, making one wire longer, and one wire shorter, then it would have some benefit. It sounds like this hinged on where the DAC was placed.

        Is that the kind of "innovation" that warrants patent protection?

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          It's because patents are completely out of control and ALL OF THEM need to be thrown out, Every one of them. Let's start over. If your patent application documents something that is world changing and is in no way the same as anything else, you get a patent. anything else, the patent office wipes their butts with the application and by law the lawyer that filed it must sniff it with their nose 2 mm from the page for a minimum of 30 seconds.

        • Besides, this stuff is getting crazy. Somebody designs a system. Somebody else says, hey, if we moved this component of the system from right here to over there, making one wire longer, and one wire shorter, then it would have some benefit. It sounds like this hinged on where the DAC was placed.

          It hinged on whether the DAC was part of the docking station (which was accused of infringing on a Bose patent) or part of the iDevice. If I'm accused of stealing your car, surely whether the car is placed in my garage or whether it is still placed in your garage makes a difference.

        • by fatphil (181876)
          > It sounds like this hinged on where the DAC was placed.

          Long precendent for that. Mobile phones that vibrate patented? Simple - put the vibrating element in the (removable) battery. So it's no longer the phone that does the vibrating, and your product is no longer infringing.

          I would suggest that more than 99% of patents have precisely no innovation of worth at all nowadays.
      • But that doesn't make them general-purpose computers in the sense that the average person thinks of when hearing "computer". An iOS device is not general-purpose because Apple bans some purposes.

        I wasn't aware that the term "general purpose" implied being able to do everything.

        Presumably the machine I'm typing this on isn't a general purpose computer either, since I banned software from it for solving that thing that's like Pythagoras' theorem for cubes which I can't be arsed to look up.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I wasn't aware that the term "general purpose" implied being able to do everything.

          A general purpose computer is turing-complete and offers the opportunity to load arbitrary code. Since the restrictions on what code you can load are artificial (main point) and fairly easily bypassed (supporting point) I would argue that the various touch screen iDevices are clearly all general-purpose computers.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > I wasn't aware that the term "general purpose" implied being able to do everything.

          What rock have you been hiding under for the last 30 years.

          General purpose clearly implies the ability to do things with it that the manufacturer did not consider or consent to. This is what separates a PC from a toaster.

          iPods are in a strange middle ground made up of PCs that are trying to pretend to be appliances. Technically they are PCs but they are subject to "policy" that prevents them from acting that way.

          It's lik

          • So have you installed software to solve Fermat's last theorem? If you haven't, then by tepple's logic your computer isn't general purpose.

            That is not my point of view.

            Perhaps you should read the whole post - and understand it if you can - before making retarded smug comments and showing how fucking dumb you are.

      • An iPod touch is an iPhone without a cellular radio. As far as I can tell, Apple has been deemphasizing its iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod classic product lines in favor of iPod touch and other iOS devices.

        But all the other iPods precede the touch in terms of existence. It appears that these iPods (while they have chips in them) are probably safe from this.

    • If apple devices are'nt computers, may God strike..., that judge, dead! "Computers" come in all kinds of forms, here's your proof... http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000984.htm [computerhope.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They are computers. Judges really should be qualified in the areas they presiding over.

    • by theNetImp (190602)

      agreed. Even the iPod classic had the ability to play video games on it. I use to play tetris on it regularly when commuting to work (via train).

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:56AM (#40647735) Homepage Journal

      From the summary: "At issue: Is an iPhone, iPad or iPod a 'computer.' The judge says they aren't."

      From page 13 of the memorandum and order [cepro.com]: "This Court declined to construct the term 'computer'." Instead, the ruling is based on where the DAC is located. The DAC in this case is inside the iDevice, rendering the claimed infringing "interface" a fancy headphone jack.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        The DAC in this case is inside the iDevice, rendering the claimed infringing "interface" a fancy headphone jack.

        What these manufacturers have successfully argued is that because the DAC is in the iPod, rather than their devices, then they aren't infringing a patent that covers devices that convert digital audio to analog. The judge agreed that the digital to analog conversion happens inside the iDevice, so the external device is not infringing. The open question is whether Bose will now sue manufacturers who stream or transfer digital audio to external devices that do include a DAC for playback.

        Btw, here's the pate [google.com]

        • Depends on what "sound reproduction device" means. Reading the patent it seems intended more for professional mixing/editing scenarios and not to hook up your computer to your receiver. Because if you read the patent that way, every converter that hooks up between a computer and audio equipment is susceptible. Like this toslink to digital coax converter [monoprice.com]. I use one because my receiver is already receiving optical out from my TV and has only one optical in port. If I'm hooking up my computer which only h
      • Wait a moment. Does this mean that I'm forced to use whatever DAC Apple deigns to put it its products-- if I want to use SPDIF, or whatever, Bose gets a cut?

  • iStuff dock are not cool enough ?
  • Yes, that is really new.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes! Where is the justice when a US judge finds for a US companies over a company from Massachusetts?!

  • What is the definition of a computer then?

    To me all 3 qualify. At the very least if you are going to narrowly define it, at the least the iPad is.. iPhone should be. iPod, depends on which one. A classic is an embedded computer, a touch, well, its a computer too...

    • See a few comments above. You got trolled by a bad summary. The judgment had to do with the placement of the DAC not with them not being a computer.

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        Of course the DAC is in the dock. The dock in this case is the computer, and the iThingy is the server. It's just downloading a file and playing it. How that's patentable in this day and age boggles the mind. Just because they take a traditional 'computer' app to play digital music files and package it in a single-purpose device doesn't mean they've invented anything.

        • Of course the DAC is in the dock. The dock in this case is the computer, and the iThingy is the server. It's just downloading a file and playing it. How that's patentable in this day and age boggles the mind. Just because they take a traditional 'computer' app to play digital music files and package it in a single-purpose device doesn't mean they've invented anything.

          You should really have read what this is about, because what you are saying here has nothing whatsoever to do with the case. Hint: This whole case has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with Apple. Apple isn't suing anyone, and Apple isn't being sued.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      The judge didn't make that determination - the summary did, badly.

      The ruling didn't hinge on whether or not the iPhone/iOS devices are computers or not.

    • What is the definition of a computer then?

      To me all 3 qualify. At the very least if you are going to narrowly define it, at the least the iPad is.. iPhone should be. iPod, depends on which one. A classic is an embedded computer, a touch, well, its a computer too...

      computer /kmpyootr/ Noun: 1. An electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program. 2. A person who makes calculations, esp. with a calculating machine. Synonyms: calculator Wikipedia Dictionary com

  • by pbjones (315127)

    So at issue is the external device, not the source, which is the 'MP3' player/function thingy. What would be at risk is any USB connected Audio device because USB is almost always associated with a computer. My guess is that this goes back to the Apple/Bose iSub days.

  • If the patent covers receiving digital audio and converting it to analog, aren't there like a million audio receivers and amplifiers that did this before iPods existed? How old is this patent? My receiver from the 90's had a digital input. My brother's Pentium 3 computer had an external speaker system with a digital input and its own amp.
    • by jrumney (197329)
      The patent is from 2000. It only covers systems where the digital-audio conversion takes place inside the same enclosure as the speakers. So 1990's era receivers with digital input are not quite prior art (though whether the idea of moving it into the speaker enclosure is novel is something that should be challenged in court IMHO, given the prior existence of both receivers with digital inputs and single-box amplifier and speaker combinations).
  • I know reading the friendly article (and especially PDFs linked from it) is not a certainty around these parts, but this one's pretty interesting. The article itself kind of entirely misses the point (whether the iDevice is a "computer" was pretty much completely irrelevant*), but the opinion itself taught me a lot. In particular, there are such things as "contributory infringement" and "inducement" in patent law. I did not know of such a thing until now.

    All of the independent claims of the patent [google.com] explicitl

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

Working...