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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Upholds Validity of ClearOne Patent Relating to Adaptive Acoustic Processing

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) yesterday issued a final written decision in case no. PGR2020-00079 confirming the patentability of all claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,728,653 (the “’653 Patent”) owned by ClearOne Inc. (NASDAQ:CLRO), a leading global provider of audio and visual communication solutions. Shortly after the ’653 patent issued in mid-2020, Shure, Incorporated initiated the case in yet another attempt to disrupt ClearOne’s patent rights, but the PTAB rejected each and every one of Shure’s seven challenges.

The ’653 Patent covers aspects of ClearOne’s revolutionary innovations in beamforming microphone arrays (BMAs). Specifically, the ’653 Patent relates to “a ceiling tile combined with [a] beamforming microphone array” that includes acoustic echo cancellation and “adaptive acoustic processing that automatically adjusts to a room configuration.”

“Shure’s strategy backfired,” said ClearOne President and CEO Zee Hakimoglu, who added, “the PTAB found that the claims of the ’653 Patent are clear, broad, well described and enabled, and represent nonobvious improvements over earlier technology.”

This is not the first time Shure has unsuccessfully tried to invalidate a ClearOne patent. In an earlier legal dispute, first the PTAB in case no. IPR2017-01785 and then the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit in case no. 201901755 rejected Shure’s attempt to invalidate ClearOne’s U.S. Patent No. 9,264,553, which covers aspects of ClearOne’s revolutionary innovations in beamforming microphone arrays.

The ’653 loss is the latest in a long string of defeats for Shure. In 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois preliminarily enjoined Shure from infringing a different ClearOne patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,813,806, and then in 2020 held Shure in contempt of that injunction in case no. 17-cv-3078. In November 2021, a jury in a different court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, found a Shure design patent asserted against ClearOne to be invalid and not infringed.

About ClearOne

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