Normally only a few Bang & Olufsen products and technologies are patented. The investments patenting require are simply unnecessary, as no real threats exist within the current market of consumer electronics. Usually the distinctiveness of Bang & Olufsen products (concepts, materials used, the craftsmanship and overall quality) is very far from the reality, large scale manufacturers of consumer electronics have to deal with.
However, as BeoSound 9000 is probably one of the most innovative audio products ever marketed, it was decided to patent the uniqueness of Bang & Olufsen re-thinking the CD media. The patents cover two issues; the basic idea of the concept and part of the advanced technology controlling the CD player mechanism.
The basic idea
The primary principle distinguishing BeoSound 9000 is playback of CDs, visibly placed in a linear fashion. Instead of transporting the CD to the laser pick-up, the laser finds its way to the CD, speedily and elegantly. These principles provide a new way of using - and living with - compact discs (see above picture).
Patenting 'the basic idea' limits any attempts to plagiarise the basic principles of BeoSound 9000. As the versatile approach might be applicable to future types of compact disc based equipment, also this aspect is covered by the patent.
Besides expressing a brilliant idea, BeoSound 9000 is a remarkable technological achievement. One of the most prominent features, the automatic positioning of CDs, is a unique compound of a simple, yet powerful idea, combined with advanced digital technology.
With auto-positioning, BeoSound 9000 is capable of detecting and memorising a specific angular position for CDs. After playback, a CD returns to a position chosen by the user; most likely a position where the textual information printed on the CD is readable.
A small piece of information on the CD, the so-called P-bit, is used as the point of reference for the angular positioning. Using the location of this P-bit information, present on virtually all audio CDs, software-controlled tachometers enable a very precise positioning of discs after playback. Automatic positioning of CDs by use of the P-bit information is a Bang & Olufsen copyright.
A patented concept will prevent other manufacturers using the same approach. In fact, the 'simple' idea of placing compact discs linear in a multi-CD player cannot be copied without violating the copyright. Without competition from plagiarising products, BeoSound 9000 cements its position as a unique alternative to traditional multi-CD players. Finally, patents are significant communications parameters. Most people are aware of the fact, that special efforts have been made to design a product, that has been granted a patent.
BeoTech © 2006 All rights reserved