Noise Free claims Apple snatched its noise-canceling technology, will sue
Noise Free has a technology which allows for background noise to be filtered out while you are talking on the phone with another party, so street, construction or club sounds don't get in the way of a good conversation.
The company claims it demonstrated what its invention can do to Apple in 2009, supplying them with presentations, schematics, and even a circuit board plus a prototype phone for easier grasp of how things are done.
Cupertino's engineers ultimately went with Audience for the noise-cancelling duties in the iPhone that year, but filed for a patent in 2010 which Noise Free says mimics precisely the tech they had demonstrated to Apple in the previous year.
Since Apple's chief of mobile phones and tablets was called into the meeting, and the two engineers which were present then were also listed as investors on Apple's patent filing, Noise Free claims this patent contradicts its own “Environmental noise reduction and cancellation for a communications device” filing done way before that.
Noise Free's demand is to cancel Apple's pending patent application, and to ultimately be paid damages, threatening an eventual injunction against Apple's phones and tablets. We doubt things will go that far, but will keep an eye on the developments.