Apple Faces Patent Lawsuit Over iPhone's Battery Technologies

Somaltus, LLC has filed a complaint against Apple today in an Eastern Texas district court, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing upon its 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies. The small Frisco, Texas-based firm also filed lawsuits against Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba over the same patent.

iPhone-6s-li-on
The lawsuit claims that the iPhone 6s and any similar devices sold by Apple infringe upon U.S. Patent No. 7,657,386, titled "Integrated Battery Service System," and seeks unspecified monetary damages or, alternatively, a running royalty on sales of infringing devices from the time of judgment going forward.

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).

Specifically, it appears that the infringement claim at least partially relates to the iPhone's process of charging in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity, and then adjusting to trickle-charge mode above 80% capacity.

On information and belief, the processor executes the control codes to continually adjust a charge level to the battery. The Product has a charging system according to which the system operates in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity and then adjusts to trickle-charge mode when the capacity exceeds 80%. When the capacity drops below 80%, the system gain adjusts to fast-charge operation. The purpose of the system is to reduce the charging level applied to the battery at high capacity in order to extend the battery lifespan. Thus, the system adjusts the charging level applied to the battery and does so continuously as the battery charge capacity repeatedly exceeds and drops below 80%.

Somaltus, LLC generally fits the description of a "patent troll," as it does not appear to provide any obvious products or services and lacks an easily identifiable online presence. Nevertheless, it has successfully reached out-of-court settlements with automakers like Ford and Nissan in the past in relation to the same particular patent.

The legal complaint's case number is 2:16-cv-00758 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

bushido Avatar
100 months ago
i honestly dont understand how one can still innovate something these days without falling into the trap of some patent troll.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
100 months ago
Can we sue Apple etc for their battery technology being utterly useless?
No, but you can buy phones from other companies that meet your needs.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonblatho Avatar
100 months ago
That's it; now Jony's just gonna have to get rid of the battery altogether.

Now's your chance, bud.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Micool1 Avatar
100 months ago
Apple faces new patent infringement charges every two days. This is getting ridiculous...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omihek Avatar
100 months ago
How to be a patent troll:

1. Find a technology everyone uses.
2. Create and patent the obvious next iteration of said technology.
3. Wait for everyone to upgrade their technology to the next obvious iteration.
4. Sue everyone.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ravenstar Avatar
100 months ago
For crying out loud, this isn't even patent worthy. People had been doing this with manual battery chargers long before Lithium batteries were even imagined.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...