On July 25, 2014, Bose Corp. of Framingham, Massachusetts (“Bose”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Beats Electronics, LLC of Culver City, California and Beats Electronics International Ltd. of Ireland (collectively, “Beats”), and Fugang Electronic (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. of China, and PCH International Ltd. of Ireland (all collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain noise cancelling headphones and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,717,537 (the ‘537 patent), 8,073,150 (the ‘150 patent), 8,073,151 (the ‘151 patent), 8,054,992 (the ‘992 patent), and 8,345,888 (the ‘888 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to active noise reduction (“ANR”) technology.  In particular, the ‘537 patent relates to apparatuses and methods for minimizing latency in a device which implements ANR using digital signal processing.  The ‘150 and ‘151 patents relate to a configurable ANR apparatus that can have different ANR settings.  The ‘992 patent relates to methods and apparatuses for increasing phase margin, i.e., reducing time delay, in a feedback circuit of an ANR headphone.  Lastly, the ‘888 patent relates to methods and apparatuses for implementing ANR using a digital filter that introduces one or more zeroes to add gain, which is done to introduce positive phase in a signal pathway used for ANR.

In the complaint, Bose states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically refers to Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless headphones as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Bose states that at least two current Bose headphone models practice one or more claims of each of the asserted patents:  the QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones and the QuiteComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones.  Bose states that it conducts significant and substantial domestic industry activities in the U.S. relating to products that practice the asserted patents, including research and development, engineering, design, product support, and warranty service.

As to related litigation, Bose states that shortly after filing the instant ITC complaint, Bose plans to file a complaint asserting infringement of the asserted patents by Beats in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

With respect to potential remedy, Bose requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents and related entities.