On the day of jury selection, Law360 reports that Apple settled a lawsuit with Seung Jin Kim over AirPods patent infringement. Kim claimed that Apple infringed his patents related to wireless earbuds technology when the company launched AirPods in 2016.
Previously, the tech company settled lawsuits with two other companies, Jawbone and Koss Corp with undisclosed terms. Jawbone claimed that Apple infringed its patents related to noise-canceling technology which is available in AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats Studio Buds (Beats is owned by Apple) and Koss Corp accused the company of infringing several of its wireless-headphone patents.
On the eve of retrial, Apple settles AirPods lawsuit
According to the report, Kim claimed that he had thought of the lightweight AirPods-like headphones with a charging case before the device was launched as an alternative to the bulky Bluetooth headphones available in the market.
He was seeking $42 million in damages and 60% of AirPods sales in royalty.
Connor told jurors that Kim came up with an idea nearly eight years ago that solve problems plaguing older models of the large, clunky Bluetooth headset products, and invented a reimagined, rearchitected, hands-free wireless earbud technology that was smaller and lighter, had a longer-lasting battery and designed to fit more comfortably in the human ear.
Kim conceived the idea of a “smart case,” or mobile base station, that he sketched with a pencil in January 2015. That version of the mobile base station in Kim’s sketches came with a speaker, LCD screen and a clip to attach to the lapel of a shirt, so the owner couldn’t lose it, testimony revealed.
Earlier, the case was declared a mistrial after a juror conducted outside research on the case and another “mocked up a demonstrative exhibit for deliberations.”
Right before the new trial was set to start, Apple settled the matter privately with the plaintiff for undisclosed terms and amount.