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

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
WWDC24 Live Coverage Article

WWDC 2024 Apple Event Live Keynote Coverage: iOS 18, Apple's AI Push, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 9:20 am PDT by
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts today with the traditional keynote kicking things off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors is on hand for the event and we'll be sharing details and our thoughts throughout the day. We're expecting to see a number of software-related announcements with a focus on Apple's efforts to infuse AI throughout its operating systems and apps....
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
iPad Air 5

New: iPadOS 18 Drops Support for These iPad Models

Monday June 10, 2024 4:16 am PDT by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. In other words, iPadOS 18 will drop support for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Support for the sixth-generation iPad, which uses the...

Top Rated Comments

bushido Avatar
103 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
103 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
103 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
103 months ago
Apple faces new patent infringement charges every two days. This is getting ridiculous...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omihek Avatar
103 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
103 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)