Just before trial, Apple and Koss decided to discontinue their legal dispute over wireless headphone patents. As reported by Reuters, the two informed a federal court in Waco, Texas on Saturday that they had settled Koss' claims that Apple had violated patents for wireless audio technology. Koss had accused Apple of doing so.
The trial was slated to begin today; no terms of the settlement have been made public, but the two firms claimed to have reached an agreement on "all subjects under contention."
Koss filed a lawsuit against Apple and requested an undefined sum in damages for the claimed infringement after Apple ultimately decided not to license any of the company's technologies.
Apple countersued Koss when Koss filed a lawsuit against it, claiming that Koss' allegations were "baseless," the patents were invalid, and the case itself violated a 2017 confidentially agreement that stated Koss would not file a lawsuit against Apple.
Koss sued Apple, Bose, JLab, Plantronics, and Skullcandy in 2020 for allegedly infringing on patents relating to wireless headphones. The company claimed that features from Koss' Striva series of WiFi audio equipment are being copied by AirPods, the Bose 700, and other Bluetooth headphones, and it wanted retaliation now that the industry had "caught up" to work Koss started in the early 2000s.
The company went on to say that if it weren't for "upheavals" in the market and the manufacturing industry, Striva would have been a significant player in the wireless headphone space.
Prior to the lawsuits being filed, the allegedly infringing companies were also informed of infractions, though the timing of those notifications differed. Koss claimed that while it informed Apple as early as 2017, it did not notify Bose until July 9th, just days before the lawsuit.
Bose, Skullcandy, and other companies are still targets of lawsuits. There is little doubt that Apple and Koss were anxious to avoid a courtroom battle, even though it is unclear if those cases will proceed in light of this deal.
After agreeing to a settlement with headphone manufacturer Koss Corp., Apple Inc. avoided having its AirPods subject to a patent infringement trial.
The parties' agreement, the details of which were kept under wraps, was approved by Judge Alan Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas on July 23. As a result, the trial, which was set to begin with jury selection early on Monday, was dismissed.