Firm accuses Apple of stealing noise cancellation technology

Dan Graziano
Newly released documents suggest Samsung might not be an Apple copycat after all

A company called Noise Free claims it showed Apple its secret noise cancellation technology and the Cupertino-based company used it in the iPhone and iPad without permission. Noise Free is now suing Apple for patent infringement, theft of trade secrets and breach of contract, GigaOM reported. The company filed its complaints last week in the District Court for Northern California. Along with the allegations, Noise Free has asked the court to invalidate a related pending Apple patent for noise-canceling technology. The company claims it “solved the problem” of background noise using techniques it developed to detect sounds and cancel them before they reach a device’s receiver. Apple was interested in the technology and reached out to Noise Free, but the iPhone-maker apparently broke off the talks in 2009 and chose a company called Audience to provide it with noise-canceling technology. Noise Free is seeking damages and an injunction against Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

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