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Doppler Labs lawsuit claims that Bose backed its Kickstarter to copy its headphone tech

Doppler Labs lawsuit claims that Bose backed its Kickstarter to copy its headphone tech

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Doppler Labs, the startup behind the Here One earbuds, has filed a lawsuit against Bose, per a report from TechCrunch. The suit alleges that Bose’s Hearphones, which offer a similar augmented pass-through listening feature as the Here One’s, are based on Doppler’s own earbuds.

The suit notes that Bose’s senior manager of Idea & Portfolio Management, Chris Miller was an early backer on Doppler’s original Kickstarter of the Here Active earbuds as well as one of the first customers to place an order for the Here Buds. Doppler claims that this interest in its products was “an attempt to gain early access to a competitor’s technology” by Bose.

Doppler also points to a series of meetings with Bose executives last summer, where it met with Bose to discuss licensing its tech, during which Doppler disclosed its “proprietary technology, market approach and positioning, product capabilities, and product road map.” The suit claims that Doppler now believes that Bose wasn’t actually interested in teaming up with Doppler, but attended the meeting “to surreptitiously obtain knowledge about Doppler Labs’ business plans and proprietary technology.”

The suit highlights a third complaint that Doppler has with Bose — the use of the Hearphones name itself. Doppler says that Bose filed a trademark for “Hearphones” shortly after Doppler announced the Here One Kickstarter campaign, and the company believes that Bose’s name infringes its own Here One brand.

Doppler Labs declined to comment when asked for a statement on the suit, while Bose did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The full suit is detailed below:

Doppler Labs v. Bose by Russell Brandom on Scribd