Battery Company Sues Retailers for Selling Infringing Products

Although Amazon, Costco, and Best Buy don’t produce batteries at the center of a new lawsuit, VARTA Microbattery GmbH (VARTA) filed complaints against the companies for selling, offering to sell, and importing batteries that use features patented by VARTA. VARTA is represented by Ramey & Flock in the Eastern District of Texas cases. VARTA filed complaints against the three companies on February 24.

VARTA is a German microbattery company that produces batteries for cordless headphones, hearing aids, watches, and other items that they sell worldwide under the trademark CoinPower. “Because of their outstanding performance, the CoinPower microbatteries have been highly successful and well accepted by the market across the world.  In recognition of the break-through nature of its invention, VARTA was granted an international patent portfolio covering various aspects of the CoinPower microbatteries, including a number of patents in the United States,” the complaint says.

The patents-in-suit are United States Patent No. 9,153,835 (“the ’835 Patent”); 9,496,581 (“the ’581 Patent”); and 9,799,913 (“the ’913 Patent”). Each of these patents are entitled “Button Cells and Method of Producing Same.” Additionally, the suit against Best Buy cites United States Patent No. 9,799,858 (“the ‘858 Patent”). The batteries use button cells and coin cells to create a small battery. VARTA explains in the complaint that it undertook efforts to develop the battery with “excellent mechanical strength characteristics, increased power density, and better space utilization.”

The specific battery mentioned in the complaint which is sold in items purchased on Amazon is the ICR1254 battery, which is found in products from EVE Energy of China. Products using the battery include wireless earphones by Samsung Electronics America, Inc. called Galaxy Buds. The complaint explains and diagrams the similarities between the two batteries and shows how the ICR1254 uses VARTA’s patented technology. The case against Best Buy includes the use of additional patented technology in the M1254S2 batteries found in another set of earbuds.

A few weeks prior to these cases being filed, the Plaintiff filed a complaint against Samsung Electronics America for selling the same earbuds and infringing the same patents.