Month: July 2014

Apple Involved in Another Patent Battle

Apple can’t seem to keep their hands out of patent trouble lately. They’ve recently gone through a massively public battle with Samsung over various mobile telephone technology, and now they are in an argument with Bose over headphones. The suit is technically being brought against Beats Audio, but since they are being acquired by Apple as we speak, the suit will now fall on Apple’s shoulders.

Bose is claiming that Beats has infringed upon their research into the noise-canceling realm and that at least five of Bose’s patents are directly violated by Beats products. Currently, Bose’s various headphones designs are protected by 22 different patents and 14 more that are currently under review.

Bose certainly has a case here. The suit delves into the history of the development of noise-canceling technology and the research that was personally done by the company’s founder, Dr. Amar Bose. The complaint speaks of Dr. Bose’s desire to invent headphones that would be of a higher quality and that would reduce or even eliminate background cabin noise on an airplane. Because of his successful prototypes and designs, the military even contacted him about creating products that would help pilots.

It makes sense that Beats Audio would want to replicate what Bose has created – after all, no one can argue that Bose sound systems and headphones are quite superior to almost everything else out there, but if the technology used was, in fact, patented, then Beats – or Apple – may end up having to pay damages. If Bose wins the suit, Apple may have a bit of a mess on their hands trying to figure out how to create headphones that match the quality Beats has created without infringing upon Bose’s technology and designs. 

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New Seats for Airbus?

Airplane manufacturer Airbus has found a new solution for getting more passengers on board each plane: make the seats even smaller than they already are. They have filed a patent for a new type of seat that takes away anything they called “bulk” on their patent application (so, basically anything that makes the seat comfortable – like cushions, headrests, seat backs, and tray tables). 

These new seats resemble a bicycle seat. Passengers would basically straddle the seat, and they would be given small armrests that would serve to keep them balanced in a more or less standing position during the flight. The seats can then be folded vertically between flights or when not in use to allow for more room on the plane. The reduced space would make cleaning the plane easier, and it would make the flight attendants’ jobs a little simpler by allowing them to pass through passengers more effectively.

Not everyone is sold on the idea. The Washington Post got a hold of the patent drawings and has already dubbed them “the most uncomfortable plane seats ever,” but it certainly could allow airlines to boost revenue by eliminated extra space and packing more people on board. For a shorter flight, it may not be so bad. For a long flight though? Sounds pretty rough. Even the current options for plane seats are pretty uncomfortable. It’s hard to image something as stripped down as what Airbus is proposing. 

Take a look at the drawing:

airbus_patent

What do you think?