Most New Jersey residents who own Apple iPhones are probably unaware of the minute details of the phone’s battery charging system. Apple iPhones use a fast-charge mode when the batteries fall below 80 percent capacity and a trickle-charge mode after the batteries exceed it. By switching between fast and trickle-charge modes, iPhone battery chargers preserve battery life.
The charging system used by Apple iPhones has led to allegations that Apple violated an existing patent. A company called Somaltus recently sued Apple for violating U.S. Patent No. 7,657,386, a patent it named the “Integrated Battery Service System”. Somaltus obtained the patent in 2010 and is now claiming that the battery charging system used on Apple iPhones violates its property. Somaltus is seeking financial compensation for its damages and royalties from iPhone sales.
Apple is not the first company that has been sued by Somaltus for violation of its Integrated Battery Service System patent. Somaltus filed patent violation complaints against five car manufacturers including Ford and Nissan. According to Somaltus, Nissan’s Altima Hybrid model cars and Ford’s Fusion Hybrid model cars violated the Integrated Battery Service System patent it owns. All of the companies settled with Somaltus outside of court.
Obtaining patents can be an important way for technology companies to protect their intellectual property from competitors. An intellectual property lawyer may be able to help a company to apply for patents and determine whether patented technology has been used without permission. If a company’s patent is violated, a lawyer may help the company to pursue financial compensation for the patent violation.
Source: YAHOO! Tech, “Apple hit with a patent lawsuit over the iPhone’s battery charging tech,” Williams Pelegrin, July 13, 2016