Apple has many problems to deal with, and here comes another one. Yesterday, Somaltus, LLC filed a complaint against the Cupertino-based company in an eastern Texas district court. The complaint accuses the tech giant of infringing upon a 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies.
Apple sued over “fast-charge” features in iPhone 6s
Somaltus is a small Frisco, Texas-based firm that has filed separate lawsuits against Lenovo, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and Asus over the same patent. According to MacRumors, the complaint made by the Texas-based firm specifically targets the “fast-charge” features of the 6s battery. The iPhone is said to have used a system which maximizes the speed of charging whenever the battery is below 80% capacity. Above 80% battery, the system switches to a trickle-charge mode. The feature helps maintain the longevity of the battery.
According to the Texas-based firm, that technology violates at least the first claim of U.S. No. 7,657,386. The company is asking for either ongoing royalties on sales of infringing devices from the time of judgement going forward or unspecified damage payments.
The lawsuit reads: “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).”
Apple could potentially be pressured into a settlement even when Somaltus appears to be a non-practicing patent troll. The Texas-based firm has already settled with automakers like Nissan and Ford over the patent. For Apple, a settlement might be preferable to an unfavorable ruling or the expenses of a protracted court battle.
In-line earnings could push the stock up
In a recent report, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves trimmed his price target on Apple from $123 to $121, but maintained his Overweight rating on the stock. He notes that investor sentiment around the stock is “quite negative,” thus creating a positive setup for Apple’s June quarter report. Because of this negativity surrounding the stock, the analyst believes in-line earnings would be enough to push the stock higher.
On Tuesday, Apple shares closed up 0.45% at $97.42. Year to date, the stock is down more than 9%, while in the last year, it is down 21%. The stock has a 52-week high of $132.97 and a 52-week low of $89.47.