A company called Somaltus LLC has filed a suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas. The company claims that the fast- charge technology used on the Apple iPhone 6s
and "any similar device" sold by Apple, infringes on a 2010 patent belonging to Somaltus. With the fast-charge system on the iPhone 6s
, charging speeds are maximized when the battery inside the phone drops under 80% capacity; above that level, the charger switches to a slower trickle charge.
Somaltus says that Apple's fast-charge feature infringes on U.S. patent 7,657,386, called "Integrated Battery Service System
." From Apple, the company seeks unspecified damages or continuing royalties. Apple isn't the only smartphone company that Somaltus is taking to court over the alleged infringement of this patent. Other companies (in alphabetical order) like Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba have also been sued over the same technology.
"Defendant sells, offers to sell, and/or uses telephones including, without limitation, the iPhone 6s (the "Product"), for example, and any similar devices, which infringe at least Claim 1 of the ‘386 Patent.
On information and belief, the Product includes a battery service system including a processor (e.g., the A9 chip), which is configured to receive signals from connectors coupled to a battery (e.g., the Product's rechargeable lithium-ion battery)."-From lawsuit filed by Somaltus against Apple
The plaintiff appears to have a game plan in mind; put pressure on the defendant companies and force them to settle. This worked already with Ford and Nissan. Both car manufacturers decided to settle after being sued for allegedly infringing on the same patent. For Somaltus, a settlement means scoring a big pay day without having to put up the money required to take the case to court.