Q&A IN RESPONSE TO RECENT U.S. COURT RULING ON SHURE MXA910

On August 5, 2019, a U.S. District Court judge in Illinois granted a preliminary injunction that requires Shure to "cease manufacturing, marketing, and selling the MXA910 [Ceiling Array Microphone]...in a drop-ceiling mounting configuration."

This ruling relates to an ongoing patent dispute between Shure and ClearOne, specifically ClearOne's '806 patent which was issued in November 2017.

To help you understand what this ruling means, please refer to the following Q&A. Shure expects further clarification from the Court as to the details of the effect of this Order.  Thus, we will update this page with additional information as this matter progresses.

What is Shure’s official response?

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.

This injunction does not impact any existing products currently installed.

 

Is Shure prohibited from selling MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphones?

Shure understands the Court’s Order to not affect mounting of the MXA910 in pole mount, cable suspension mount, and hard ceiling mount configurations.  By its own terms, the preliminary injunction only applies to flush-mount drop ceiling installation of MXA910s.

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., i.e., Shure’s distribution center in Wheeling, IL, United States.

 

Which countries are affected?

This preliminary injunction likely only affects our customers in North and South America who receive the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone from our distribution center in Wheeling, IL, United States.

Shure does not believe that the injunction will affect customers in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, who receive the MXA910 from our distribution centers 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.

 

Is this a final court ruling?

No. A preliminary injunction is a temporary procedural ruling—it does not constitute a finding of patent infringement—and only lasts through the duration of the case. No final determination has been made by the Court. Ultimately, a jury will decide the merits of the case, and Shure remains confident that it will prevail.

 

Do units that are currently installed in the US need to be removed?

No.  The Court’s Order regarding the preliminary injunction makes clear that it does not impact any existing products currently installed, regardless of the mounting configuration.

 

Which mounting options continue to be available within the U.S.?

In the U.S., Shure understands the Court’s Order to allow the MXA910 to be marketed, sold, and installed as a suspension mount, pole mount, or hard ceiling installation. The preliminary injunction only prohibits flush-mount installation in drop ceilings.

Shure is working diligently to make appropriate, and likely minor, modifications to the MXA910 product line to support drop ceiling mounting in a manner that complies with the Court’s order, as needed. We intend to implement this solution quickly.

Which mounting options continue to be available outside the Americas?

Outside of the Americas, Shure expect the MXA910 will continue to be available in all product variations and can be installed in all mounting configurations without restrictions.

Is Shure making any changes to the product design or mounting configurations?

Regarding the one affected mounting configuration, drop ceiling mounting, Shure is working diligently to make appropriate, and likely minor, modifications to the MXA910 product line to support drop ceiling mounting in a manner that complies with the Court’s order, as needed. We intend to implement this solution quickly.

 

Will Shure continue to support existing drop ceiling installations of MXA910s?

Yes. Existing installations of MXA910s are not affected by this injunction. Moreover, the Court specifically recognized Shure’s ability to continue to support MXA910 products previously sold and installed in drop ceiling configurations.  Thus, Shure will continue to support already deployed products, in any mounting configuration, with future firmware and feature updates, as well as service and replacements as needed.
 

Does this affect other Shure products?

No. All other Shure products are entirely unaffected by this matter and continue to be available and shipped as normal.

 

What happens next?

In terms of legal proceedings, Shure hopes to receive further clarifications of the details of the Court’s order in the near future, and will promptly share any such clarifications with its customers.  Moreover, Shure intends to appeal to the Court’s ruling. 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.

In the meantime, Shure is committed to supporting our valued customers in the United States who are affected by this preliminary injunction. In that regard, we are working diligently to make appropriate, and likely minor, modifications to the MXA910 product line to support drop ceiling mounting in a manner that complies with the Court’s order, as needed. We intend to implement this solution quickly.

In compliance with the Court’s order, we will also update many of our sales and marketing materials, product-related documentation, collateral, websites, digital media, and any other materials that currently promote the MXA910 in its flush-mount configuration.  However, as stated, Shure will continue to support previously installed MXA910 products regardless of mounting configuration, as expressly permitted by the Court.

 

What is your message to customers impacted by this?

Our priority remains serving our customers with an uninterrupted supply of the best-in-class products they have come to expect from us.

The MXA910 was launched by Shure in 2016 and has since been installed in tens of thousands of customers’ premises in enterprises, educational and healthcare institutions. We will continue to innovate and develop on this platform and are committed to bringing new versions with new features to the market.

The Shure brand has become synonymous with high-quality reliable audio products throughout the world. We have long been at the forefront of innovation, obtaining well over 100 U.S. patents, and have had many industry firsts over the years, including our award-winning MXA910.

We will not allow ClearOne’s litigiousness to curtail our innovation or service. We are confident that we don’t infringe ClearOne’s patents and that its patents at issue in the litigation are invalid, which we intend to prove to a jury by the end of this process. This litigation is not only about protecting Shure, but also our customers and our innovative products.

 

I have other questions that are not answered here. Who do I contact?

Shure will provide the highest level of support, guidance, and needed resources to address any inquiries or concerns from our customers. Please submit any questions not addressed above by completing the form below.

Alternatively, please don't hesitate to contact your Shure representative for support.