Apple Faces Another Patent Lawsuit

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been faced with another patent infringement lawsuit yet again. Several days after the Cupertino, California-based tech corporation was able to settle the patent infringement case put forward by Network-1 Technologies, Apple Inc has once again been involved in a legal tussle. However, this time around, the company which filed charges against the iPhone maker is Somaltus LLC. Somaltus has accused Apple for violating its complex battery technology patent.

Based on the filing at the Eastern Texas district court filing, the tech giant has allegedly infringed upon the 2010 patent of Somaltus called “Integrated Battery Service System”. With this, the company is seeking compensation for monetary damages or running royalty on the sales of certain devices from the time of judgment moving forward. Additionally, the mentioned technology is stated to be integrated in the iPhone 6s and other similar devices.

This latest patent infringement lawsuit, particularly points to the iPhone unit’s fast charge mode process until the device’s battery hits 80 percent capacity, and then transitioning to a more sluggish charging speed. Somaltus has also reportedly filed similar complaints against Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony, as well as Asus.

With this, the company becomes the latest addition to the long list of “patent trolls,” which have targeted Apple Inc. During the previous week, the iPhone maker engaged into a patent infringement settlement valued at $25 million with Network-1. The terms of the settlement indicated that the Cupertino, California-based tech titan would obtain non-exclusive paid license to utilize the technology of Network-1 dubbed as “Document Stream Operating System”, together with other patents in the portfolio of the company.

It is not yet clear on whether the iPhone maker will enter into a settlement with Somaltus LLC. Yet, considering the history of the tech company, if the most recent stream of charges are found to hold merit, Apple Inc will most probably reach a settlement with the mentioned company.

While it can be claimed that this kind of settlements can be considered as insignificant for a multibillion tech giant like Apple, given the number of lawsuits that is filed against it, the summed litigation charges are not likely to be swept under the rug at the tech giant.

Apple Inc has recognized that the litigation charges as well as the licensing deals unintentionally ramped up the operating expenses of the firm. The iPhone maker said in its most recent 10-K filing, “regardless of the merit of particular claims, litigation may be expensive, time-consuming, disruptive to the company’s operations and distracting to management.”

Lawsuits like this do not only pose a threat to the profitability of the iPhone maker, but can also adversely affect its credibility. With this, it is unsurprising that Apple Inc decide to settle rather than prolong the proceedings.

Yet, in the long run, it would perhaps be best for the tech titan to diminish the outflow of cash, particularly in light of the smartphone market saturation and subsequent plunge in the sales of iPhone devices.

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