Apple is now hitting again with a six-point countersuit. 5 of the counts ask for a courtroom to rule that Apple has not infringed every of the 5 patents listed within the authentic lawsuit, whereas a sixth one claims that Koss has no proper to sue anyway …
Patently Apple experiences that that Koss met a number of instances with Apple, these conferences happening below a confidentiality settlement. Beneath the phrases of that settlement, neither occasion might use something they realized within the conferences for the needs of litigation. Apple says that is precisely what Koss has performed.
The twist? It was Koss, not Apple, which insisted on the confidentiality settlement, so Koss could have sabotaged its personal lawsuit.
In 2017, Koss sought out Apple in a purported try to interact in licensing discussions. Regardless of Apple’s request that each one discussions be carried out with out restriction, Koss insisted that the events enter right into a written Confidentiality Settlement. The events finally signed such an settlement, with an efficient date of August 6, 2017 (the “Confidentiality Settlement”). Within the Confidentiality Settlement, Koss and Apple agreed that neither occasion would “use or try to make use of any Communications [between the parties], or the existence thereof, in a litigation or every other administrative or courtroom continuing for any goal.”
One attainable cause for this odd resolution is that Koss wished to forestall Apple from going to courtroom to have the infringement claims dismissed forward of any lawsuit.
In accordance with the phrases of the Confidentiality Settlement, whereas the settlement was in pressure, Apple couldn’t advise a Court docket of Koss’ threats to file baseless infringement claims or ask a Court docket to declare Apple’s rights and resolve the authorized uncertainty it confronted. The Confidentiality Settlement additionally restricted how Apple might disclose and use the existence and contents of the discussions. However the settlement additionally protected Apple—Koss was not permitted to later use the truth that Apple had agreed to a dialogue with Koss, or the contents of the dialogue, towards Apple in litigation.
In different phrases, having enticed Apple to take part in discussions, reveal data, and forego a few of its authorized choices, Koss couldn’t use Apple’s participation towards it as a “gotcha” to deliver claims in a later litigation. That, nonetheless, is strictly what Koss did.
Whereas Koss filed its lawsuit in Texas, Apple has filed the countersuit in California, and is requesting a jury trial. It appears probably that the Texas courtroom would await the end result of the Californian case, although it was filed later, as that might make the unique lawsuit moot.
I suggested earlier that the stereo headphone inventor seemed to be claiming possession of basic expertise utilized in all wi-fi headphones, and will have determined to start out with the corporate with the deepest pockets earlier than then going after different manufacturers. If that’s the case, which will have been a strategic error, as Apple isn’t identified for settling such circumstances, preferring as a substitute to litigate them.
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