ClearOne has recently disseminated a press release welcoming the recent decision by the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois granting ClearOne’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing Shure Incorporated from manufacturing, marketing, and selling the Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone for use in its “drop-ceiling mounting configuration” in the USA. 

 The Court determined that such sales are likely to infringe ClearOne’s U.S. Patent No. 9,813,806 (the “Graham Patent”). The Graham Patent, entitled “Integrated beamforming microphone array and ceiling or wall tile,” covers, among other things, a beamforming microphone array integrated into a ceiling tile as a single unit.  ClearOne’s beamforming microphone array ceiling tile incorporating the innovative technology of the Graham Patent, the BMA CT, debuted earlier this year and is now shipping.

ClearOne sought the preliminary injunction from the Court as part of ongoing litigation to protect ClearOne’s intellectual property rights.  As the Court noted in its order, “The public benefits when [the patent] system works, and suffers when patents are infringed, so it is in the public interest—in the long run—to protect valid patents.”

“This is an incredibly valuable ruling for ClearOne and its business. It validates the strength and importance of ClearOne’s intellectual property rights, and it stops Shure from further infringing those rights pending a full trial,” said Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne Chair and CEO. “ClearOne remains committed to creating innovative solutions in installed audio conferencing and will vigorously enforce its patents.”

According to ClearOne, the Court’s order prevents Shure from encouraging others to use the Shure MXA910 beamforming microphone array in the “drop-ceiling mounting configuration” and “applies to Shure’s officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, as well as anyone who is in active concert or participation with those listed persons.”

A spokesperson from Shure published a response following the release of the statement from ClearOne, stating that: “We are disappointed and disagree with the Court’s decision, which is not a final determination on this matter and we intend to immediately appeal. We continue to believe that the ‘806 patent is invalid and that we do not infringe on the ‘806 patent and we look forward to presenting the merits of our case to a jury.”

Shure goes on to reassure its clients that: “This injunction does not impact any existing products currently installed. Shure is committed to ensuring best-in-class MXA910 products remain available to its customers and is prepared to modify and supply the product in a way that is compliant with the Court’s order, as needed.”

In addition, Shure has reassured its global customer base that the ruling only applies to the U.S.

“Since ClearOne only has U.S. patent rights that are at issue, Shure further understands the Court’s Order to pertain to only MXA910 products which are supplied from the U.S., for example Shure’s distribution centre in Wheeling, IL, United States. Shure does not believe that the injunction will affect customers in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, who receive the MXA910 from our distribution centres outside of the Americas. In these regions, we expect that the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone can continue to be marketed, sold and installed without restrictions.”

Shure has posted a Q&A section on its website in regards to the ruling. The litigation continues to move forward in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois, and no trial date has yet been set.