Apple sued for allegedly using patented solder on certain iPhone models without permission

Apple sued for allegedly using patented solder on certain iPhone models without permission
Apple is mobilizing its legal team once again. Singapore Asahi Chemical & Solder Industries PTE Ltd. has filed a patent infringement suit in Ohio accusing Apple of infringing on its patent related to lead-free solder. The suit alleges that Apple used this solder in the process of manufacturing its last five iPhone models and other Apple devices as well. Specific models named in the suit include the Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

Asahi is requesting a jury trial and has not yet determined the amount of money it is seeking from Apple for damages. It is asking that any damage award be tripled, and the company wants the court to direct Apple to pay its legal fees. The patent that Asahi claims was infringed on was awarded to it back in 2001 and covers "solder alloys with improved physical and chemical properties that comprise effective amounts of tin, copper, silver, and bismuth." According to the court filing, the inventors came up with the lead-free solder because "traditional lead-tin solder alloys face[d] a limited future due to lead toxicity and the control or prohibition of the use of lead on a global landscape."

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Ohio because the company that the patent's inventors signed over their rights to, H-Technologies Group, Inc., is based in that state. In addition, Apple operates four retail Apple Stores in Ohio.

You can find the court filing submitted by the plaintiff directly below.

source: Scribd via AppleInsider



11. lallolu

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Did apple manufacture their own soldering material using the chemicals in the patent? I don't get it. Soldering materials are usually bought from distributors. If that was the case here, then the distributors should be sued for selling the soldering material to apple. It will be interesting to get more details about the lawsuit.


Posts: 2819; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Apple, they cheat, lie, mislead and steal......what else is new?

10. Y.S.L..

Posts: 232; Member since: Jul 03, 2018


2. maherk

Posts: 7106; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Surprised that they weren't called patent trolls, if you know what I mean ;)

3. Sandy34

Posts: 19; Member since: Sep 21, 2017

No, I really don't.

4. Phullofphil

Posts: 1846; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Since they did not file a suit for years I would say there goal is to troll the patents

7. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1355; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

This isn't like software where you can easily see if code is potentially being copied. In this case you have to suspect infringement and then do a visual and possibly ultimately a chemical analysis.

6. lyndon420

Posts: 6946; Member since: Jul 11, 2012 are patent trolls. Actually it does feel good to say that lol.

1. domfonusr

Posts: 1106; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Naughty, naughty, naughty Apple! Apple should not have used the special solder without permission...

5. Phullofphil

Posts: 1846; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I wonder if Apple is the one that used it or was it the manufacture like foxconn

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1490; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I imagine it's Apple that tells Foxconn what to use in their products and that would include the solder because it affects their products in the long term.

15. Vokilam

Posts: 1497; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

That’s correct.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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