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Apple Trying to Resolve THX Patent Case, Lawyers Say

Apple Inc. is in talks to resolve a lawsuit brought by THX Ltd., the sound-engineering company founded by “Star Wars” producer George Lucas, alleging infringement of a patent for speaker technology used in iPhones, iPads and iMac products.

Lawyers for both companies filed a request with the federal court in San Francisco today to postpone a scheduled June 14 case-management conference to July 26.

“The parties are currently attempting to resolve this matter outside of this litigation,” according to the filing.

THX holds a 2008 patent for a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions, according to a complaint filed in March.

Apple products that incorporate the speaker units infringe the patent, causing “monetary damage and irreparable harm,” according to San Rafael, California-based THX. The company seeks a court order to stop the alleged infringement and a reasonable royalty, or damages to compensate for lost profit.

THX on Jan. 29 announced its first mobile application, THX tune-up, available in Cupertino, California-based Apple’s iTunes App Store. The app allows consumers to use an Apple device with the iOS operating system to adjust the performance of televisions, projectors and speakers, according to the company’s statement.

The case is THX Ltd. v. Apple Inc., 13-01161, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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