Apple is called to face a new legal dispute for the alleged infringement of four patents; relate to technologies used, according to the applicant, in the AirPods and Powerbeats Pro earphones. The company GUI Global Products, which operates under the commercial name of Gwee, claims its authorship. The solution for the magnetic coupling of the earphones to the charging case and the system for reactivating / deactivating certain functions when opening / closing the lid is the subject of discussion.
It must be said that in none of the patents is there an explicit mention of a charging case for earphones: they all have to do with devices for cleaning lenses and screens that magnetically attach to another product: for example, in one of the cases mentioned in the documentation , refers to a case for sunglasses. The magnets integrated in the case, according to the solution devised by Gwee, can also determine the automatic activation of some functions of the device that is housed inside.
It will be a Texas District Court to determine whether Gwee's claims can be granted and whether her patents apply to Apple's audio products. The company asks the Casa di Cupertino for compensation for damages resulting from the unauthorized use of patented technology, in addition to the payment of court costs. At first, it is not possible to establish with certainty whether the requests made are those of a company that is trying to make money by targeting Apple or if they are actually well founded claims.
Gwee presents itself as a company specialized in microfiber products for cleaning touchscreens and lenses, and has been operating since 2011. The patents we are discussing all bear the signature of Walter G. Mayfield is Dan Valdez – the co-founders of the company – and they were filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office between the end of 2017 and the end of 2019. In other words, Gwee does not appear to be a patent troll popped out of nowhere unlike, for example, Neodron which targeted Apple last March (but also Amazon, ASUS, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung and Sony). The four patents at the center of the dispute are: