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Industry Watch: May

May 17 2013, 13:01

Dispute Focuses on Patent

Figure 1: The 2008 THX US Patent 7,433,483 for a slot-loaded speaker is at the center of a lawsuit THX filed against Apple.

THX filed a lawsuit against Apple Corp. in US District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose, CA, on March 14, 2013, alleging that Apple is using patented THX speaker technology in select iOS mobile devices and in iMac PCs. The patent in question is a 2008 THX US Patent 7,433,483 for a slot-loaded speaker that can boost sound output by controlling directivity (see Figure 1). The patent specifically describes a woofer whose output fires through a narrow slot resulting in a wide horizontal dispersion angle and a narrow vertical dispersion angle. It should be noted that a narrow vertical dispersion pattern is part of the certification standard applied to THX-certified home theater speakers. The configuration described in the patent is alleged to have been incorporated into the Apple iPad, the iMac, the iPhone 4, and other select Apple products. THX maintains that the infringement caused monetary damage and irreparable harm to THX. Apple’s last day to meet and confer with THX counsel and the court over initial disclosure, an early settlement, and other stipulations is May 14, 2013. The deadline for initial disclosures is June 7, 2013. The initial case management conference is scheduled for June 14, 2013.

Quadrant Hires Former Thiel Execs

Quadrant Solutions, a supplier of permanent magnets and magnetic assemblies, has appointed former Thiel Audio executives Kathy Gornik and Dawn Cloyd to identify additional opportunities for the company in the consumer electronics industry. Kathy Gornik co-founded Thiel Audio, a high-performance loudspeaker manufacturer based in Lexington, KY. Gornik was partially responsible for Thiel’s company vision, direction, policies, and marketing strategy, garnering numerous business and industry awards. Gornik also had a leadership role in the electronics industry, serving on an array of boards and committees for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) from 1995 to present. Gornik sold Thiel in November, 2012. Cloyd worked with Gornik at Thiel for more than 12 years. They left after the company was sold. Quadrant is a US-based company with more than 20 years in the magnet industry, specializing in magnetic materials and magnetic assemblies worldwide.

AES Call for Papers

The 135th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention will be held October 17–20, 2013 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY. A call for papers and engineering briefs has been issued. Authors may submit proposals in three categories:

Complete-manuscript, peer-reviewed convention papers (submit at

Abstract précis-reviewed convention papers (submit at

Synopsis-reviewed engineering briefs (submit at

Submissions for the first two categories must be electronically submitted by May 16, 2013. For more information, visit

Triad Offers New Loudspeaker System

Photo 1: The CR-2 speaker system includes a 15” woofer, two 8” midranges, and a proprietary tweeter.

Custom loudspeaker manufacturer Triad Speakers has released its new Cinema Reference loudspeaker system for larger screening rooms and dedicated home theaters. The CR-2 includes a 15” woofer, two 8” midranges, and a proprietary horn-loaded air-motion transformer tweeter—all sourced from premium European professional driver manufacturers (see Photo 1). It is the company’s loudest loudspeaker to date, exceeding 120 dB at 1 m.

New for Triad is CR-2’s diffraction control technology (DCT) baffle design. The curved design minimizes diffraction and resonances, acts as an acoustic diffuser, and can be an on-wall or freestanding speaker. At 46” (H) × 31” (W) × 10” (D), the CR-2 fits behind an acoustically transparent film screen or an 11” deep stretched-fabric wall. It can be wall mounted with up to 12° of toe-in adjustment or used as a freestanding product with the optional floor mount. Finishes include flat black, real wood veneer, and custom colors. The CR-2 costs $15,000. Availability is planned for spring 2013. VC


Photo 1: The CR-2 speaker system includes a 15” woofer, two 8” midranges, and a proprietary tweeter

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