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Bose Accused Of Stealing Headphone Technology

A US headphone maker is suing Bose for allegedly stealing the technology and name of its in-ear headphones.

Doppler Labs, which creates in-ear headphones that can change the volume of real-world sounds, said in its complaint that the ‘Here Buds’ trademark it has used since 2015 was infringed by Bose’s ‘Hearphones’ released late last year.

According to Doppler Labs, Bose executives were also given early access to technical and release information as part of meetings between the two companies to discuss strategic partnerships, which it claims Bose later used to create its own similar product with the ‘Hearphones’.

Bose is said to have been given pre-release access to Doppler Labs’ Here One listening system and Here Buds headphones in October 2016, along with additional information about the company’s “proprietary technology, market approach and product road map.”

According to Doppler Labs, “Bose mislead Doppler Labs as to the state of Bose’s own product development while absorbing Doppler Labs’ technology.”

Doppler Labs claimed there is a “striking similarity in design” between its earbuds and Bose’s Hearphones.

The company also said that Bose’s Senior Manager of Idea & Portfolio Management Chris Miller had backed a Kickstarter campaign for its Here Active Listening system on the first day of the campaign in June 2015.

“Now, on information and belief, it appears that this was not an investment by Mr. Miller simply to get a new and differentiated type of audio product than Bose could deliver, for his personal use, but rather an attempt to gain early access to a competitor’s technology,” Doppler Labs said in its complaint.

Doppler Labs also claimed Miller ordered its Here One system and Here Buds “within minutes of the product announcement” in June 2016.

In light of its allegations, Doppler Labs is seeking damages and a formal retraction through an email campaign and full-page advertisements.

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