HP’s Poly unit fends off Koss patent lawsuit over wireless headphones

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  • Law firms
  • Related documents
  • Koss sued Poly, Apple, Bose and others over wireless headphones
  • Court agrees with Poly that Koss patents are invalid

(Reuters) – HP Inc’s Poly subsidiary on Wednesday defeated a patent lawsuit brought by headphone maker Koss Corp in California federal court over technology used in wireless headphones.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said the Koss patents are invalid, finding the inventions they cover, related to streaming audio to headphones over a wireless network, are too abstract to be patented.

Representatives for Koss and for Poly, formerly known as Plantronics Inc, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Koss sued several makers of wireless headphones and earbuds in 2020 for infringing its patents, including Apple Inc, Bose Corp and Poly.

Milwaukee-based Koss settled its lawsuit against Apple over the tech giant’s AirPod earbuds and Beats headphones shortly before a trial was set to begin in July.

Koss accused Poly’s BackBeat headphones of infringing several patents covering aspects of a wireless-headphone system that Koss developed in the early 2000s. Poly asked the Oakland, California court to dismiss the case last year, arguing the patents were “broadly directed to the abstract idea of wireless communication over a network.”

Tigar agreed with Poly on Wednesday, ruling that the patents did not contain an inventive concept that would make them patent eligible.

The judge also gave Koss permission to amend its lawsuit within 21 days.

The case is Koss Corp v. Plantronics Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:21-cv-03854.

For Koss: Benjamin Weed and Philip Kunz of K&L Gates

For Poly: Eimeric Reig-Plessis and Samantha Lerner of Winston & Strawn

Read more:

Apple, Koss settle wireless-headphone patent fight before trial

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Blake Brittain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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