Apple sued by Jawbone over noise-canceling tech

Air Pods Pro on stage
Air Pods Pro on stage (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is being sued by Jawbone.
  • It's over patents held by the now-bankrupt wearable maker.
  • Apple allegedly infringed on tech pertaining to noise cancellation.

Apple is being sued by Jawbone over patents that pertain to noise-canceling technology used in devices like its AirPods Pro.

Bloomberg reports:

Patents originally owned by the bankrupt Silicon Valley darling Jawbone Inc. are at the center of new lawsuits seeking royalties from Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Apple Inc. over noise canceling technology in their ear buds, smartphones and smart home devices. Jawbone Innovations LLC, the current owner of the patents, filed the suits Tuesday in federal court in Waco, Texas, a district that's the most popular in the nation for its patent-friendly judge and juries.

Jawbone Inc., a maker of wearable audio tech, is now bankrupt, but this new company, Jawbone Innovations LLC, still owns patents pertaining to noise-canceling audio technology, technology it says that both Apple and Google infringe on.

The reports notes, a little strangely, that it is unclear who is behind the company and the lawsuit, and that it's headquartered in Waco, Texas, in a small office building with no phone number, and that its lawyers couldn't be reached at the time.

The suit references eight patents relating to limiting background noise. According to the suit, both Apple and Google passed on opportunities to buy the assets of the bankrupt company.

Apple uses noise-canceling tech in devices like its AirPods Pro. The company is expected to unveil a new set of AirPods 3 sometime later this year, either by press release or alongside its rumored new mini-LED MacBook Pro.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9