German battery company Varta is suing Samsung Electronics America over alleged lithium-ion coin cell patent infringements in the US.
The South Korean battery giant is accused of patent infringements relating to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in Galaxy Buds earphones including batteries obtained from China’s Eve Energy bearing the part number ICR 1254.
The infringement accuses Samsung of selling the wireless earphones with at least the ICR 1254 batteries in the US and/or imports into the US.
The battery includes an electrode-separator assembly in the form of a spiral winding and electrodes in the form of flat layers connected to and separated by a flat separator.
Varta has requested a trial by jury on all triable issues pursuant to Rule 38(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Michael Ross, US patent attorney, told BEST: “Varta filed the first of what I presume will be several patent infringement lawsuits.
“It’s somewhat unusual for a vendor to sue a customer for patent infringement. Most companies do not want to sour a relationship with a customer. It would be interesting what was discussed prior to the lawsuit.
“It will be interesting to see why Samsung made the switch to Eve.”
It is the second time Varta has made legal action in as many months, with the firm accusing Eve Energy and MIC-Power— based in South China’s Guangdong Province— of infringements on its lithium-ion coin cells used in Samsung’s wireless ear-bud headphones.
In December, devices with batteries from Chinese manufacturers appeared on the market that infringed Varta patents in several cases. The German firm immediately issued warnings to the important trade channels that it would not accept such gross patent infringements.
A Varta spokesman told BEST: “We monitor our competition very carefully. Right now we are developing with our key customers appropriate business solutions.
“Varta batteries are characterised by high quality, safety and reliability. We continue to set the industry standard for micro-batteries, especially for lithium-ion CoinPower batteries.
“Our CoinPower batteries have unique competitive advantages, which are protected by extensive patent families. Demand for our lithium-ion batteries remains very high and we will continue to invest heavily in expanding our production capacity.”
Read the start of Michael Ross’ series on patents HERE.