Beats By Dre Suit Settled: Apple Bumps Bose From Shelves

MacRumors is reporting that Apple is preparing to remove all Bose audio products, both demo and sellable, from its retail environment. Bose Corp. and Apple Inc.’s Beats Electronics settled a high-profile patent dispute out of court on Friday.

While not mentioned in relation to the settlement, a source says that in the coming days, Apple employees will receive instructions to remove Bose products from store shelves. The reasons were not given, but both sides have plenty of cause to end their retail relationship.

Bose, maker of high-end sound systems and headphones, filed suit last July in a Delaware federal court, claiming that Beats by Dre had willfully infringed upon five of its patents in its Studio and Studio Wireless line of headphones. The privately held company said that it had lost significant profits and sales as a result. The suit was seeking unspecified damages from Beats.

A document filed with the court on Friday said both sides would dismiss the case and bear their own costs and legal fees. The terms of the settlement were not being disclosed, a spokeswoman for Bose said in an email, adding only that the dispute had been “resolved.”

The two companies also asked the International Trade Commission to suspend its investigation into the matter. Bose had asked the commission to block the import of Beats by Dre’s noise-cancellation products from China, where they are manufactured.

For its part, Apple acquired Beats Electronics earlier this year for a reported $3 billion. The acquisition bequeathes to Apple the extremely popular Beats by Dre headphones division. The headphones, which have proven popular with music fans since the company was founded by rap mogul Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine in 2006, are now featured prominently by Apple.

Apple has yet another reason to dump Bose. The Verge reports that Bose recently acquired exclusive NFL sponsorship rights to headphones in the NFL. That lead the league to institute a ban on any other headphone brands being televised during interviews.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick defied the ban by wearing bright pink Beats by Dre headphones at a post-game press conference last Sunday. The league promptly hit Kaepernick with a $10,000 fine.

When asked if Beats would pick up the tab, Kaepernick said, “I’m going to let that be unanswered.”

It stands to reason that either Bose or Apple may have pulled the trigger on the separation.

What do you think about the suit? And should Beats pay Kaepernick’s fine?

[photo via @iphonehacks]

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