Noise Free Wireless has accused Apple of patent infringement involving noise-reduction technology in cell phones.
A small company in Silicon Valley, Noise Free Wireless, brought out that it presented detailed technical information about its noise-reduction technology during several meetings that happened at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters. That was way before the accused firm filed its own patent for a similar technology, and said to have already been embedded in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and all three iPad models.
Noise Free filed its technology under U.S. patent 7,742,790 in May 2007, centering on an innovation that has the capability to reduce or eliminate environmental noise such as wind from a voice transmission on a mobile phone that was then awarded to the firm on June 2010. Incidentally, it was the same time Apple filed its own U.S. patent application 2011/0300806 involving a system for eliminating signal noise while keeping the user’s voice intact.
According to Noise Free, Apple was the first consumer electronic company that the firm approached and discussed the technology’s particulars with in the middle of 2007 after the filing of its patent, which was then followed by a work presentation to the company during September in that same year.
According to the prosecuting company, more meetings followed after the presentation over the next three years, until a time came when both firms primarily agreed on a verbal agreement and then signed a formal non-disclosure agreement in September 2008 to the confidentiality of the subject, which includes an evaluation circuit board.
By August that same year, Noise Free disappointingly discovered that Apple had decided to use technology in the development of its products from a competitor named Audience. Their good relationship started to drift away.
The complaint claims that Apple “extracted Noise Free’s proprietary and confidential object code, determined Noise Free’s noise reduction software and measured and duplicated the signal traces from the circuit board and microcontroller,” plus disclosed the information to Audience.
Further, it states that the some of the ideas and inventions containing the patent filed by Apple came from the information that Noise Free disclosed to the firm during their meetings.
On 3 July this year, Noise Free Wireless based in nearby Santa Clara, appealed to the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California under case number 12-03483, to take legal action in the form damages and invalidation of patent against Apple who allegedly has taken trade secrets, breached contract, and engaged in unfair business practices.
Both Apple and Noise Free were unavailable for comment.