Apple made a deal with a guy who says he's been thinking about AirPods since before they were even invented. The announcement was made just before jury selection began.
Jin Kim and Pinn Inc.'s son. sued Apple over patent infringement they claim occurred when the original AirPods were released six years ago. Law360 writes that the plaintiff is suing for patents related to his own wireless headphone technology idea.
Connor told jurors that almost eight years ago, Kim had an idea to solve the problems of old models of large and clunky Bluetooth headsets, and invented a rethought, redesigned wireless headphone technology -earbuds that were smaller and lighter, had a longer battery life and were designed to fit more comfortably in the human ear.
Kim came up with the & #8220;smart case,” or the mobile base station he drew in pencil in January 2015. This version of the mobile base station in Kim's sketches came with a speaker, an LCD screen, and a lapel clip so the wearer could not lose them, according to the testimony.
In addition, Kim demanded 60 cents in royalties for each set of AirPods sold by Apple, or a total of $42 million in damages in time. While Kim did have two patents for wireless headphone technology, Apple has claimed that her work on AirPods began ten years before the product's launch.
The jury selection process was just getting started today when the court was notified that Apple and Kim had reached an agreement. Read this to understand that Apple paid the guy enough to leave.
Apple has already faced legal challenges regarding AirPods from Jawbone and Koss, and the lawsuit has also been settled privately. Shortly after buying Beats, Apple also sued Bose over the headphone technology before settling the dispute. Subscribers can read the full Law360 article here.