Apple is countersuing pioneering audio manufacturer Koss over the patent lawsuit it filed in Texas. Two weeks ago, Koss had accused Apple (and several other audio companies like Bose) of violating patents on wireless headphone technology.
In its own filing registered (via Patently Apple) with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California San Jose Division on August 8, however, Apple claims Koss’ allegations are “baseless” and that the lawsuit also breaks a confidentiality agreement both the parties agreed to in 2017 — while discussing potential licensing deals.
As per the agreement, Cupertino, California-based company adds, neither Koss, nor Apple “would use or attempt to use any Communications [between the parties], or the existence thereof, in a litigation or any other administrative or court proceeding for any purpose.” Apple has also claimed that while it requested discussions to proceed without any restrictions, Koss insisted on a written confidentiality agreement.
“In other words, having enticed Apple to participate in discussions, reveal information, and forego some of its legal options, Koss could not use Apple’s participation against it as a “gotcha” to bring claims in a later litigation. That, however, is exactly what Koss did,” stated Apple further in the filing.
In addition to arguing that the breach of contract, therefore, renders Koss’ lawsuit invalid, Apple has submitted a range of additional evidence and documents to prove that it doesn’t infringe any of the individual patents either.
We’ve reached out to Koss and Apple for a comment and we’ll update the story when we hear back.
Late last month, Koss sued a handful of companies including Apple, Bose, JLab, Plantronics, and Skullcandy for allegedly violating its patents on wireless headphone technology and stealing features from Koss’ own Striva line of audio gear for their products, such as Apple’s AirPods. Koss has demanded the court that its competitors must pay “three times” the damages determined by either the court or the jury. In its lawsuit, Koss is essentially arguing it invented the in-ear wireless earphones and these companies owe it years of royalties. Koss adds that it informed of the potential patent infringement as early as 2017.
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