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Firm sues Samsung over basic battery tech, could have far-reaching impact

Another day, another patent troll.
By
June 3, 2022
Samsung Galaxy logo macro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A patent licensing firm is suing Samsung over a commonly used battery algorithm.
  • The algorithm helps accurate predict remaining battery life.
  • Other companies use similar algorithms and could be the firm’s next targets.

A patent licensing firm has sued Samsung over basic battery technology in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the entire industry.

K.Mizra is a firm that licenses “high value, high quality patents with a global reach” from the likes of IBM, Sharp, and various research organizations and then sues any company it thinks may be infringing those patents. Samsung is its latest target, with K.Mizra filing a lawsuit on May 20, 2022, claiming the South Korean company’s battery life prediction algorithm violates one of the patents in its portfolio (h/t Android Central).

K.Mizra claims the patent in question was developed by Nederlandse Organisatie voor Togepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoe (TNO), a Dutch research institute. The algorithm analyzes user behavior to more accurately predict how long their device’s battery will last. The firm says the manufacturers benefit from using the algorithm since it saves them the time of painstakingly running countless scenarios to predict the battery life of specific devices.

Read more: A definitive guide to everything that affects smartphone battery life

Interestingly, while Google, Xiaomi, and others use similar algorithms, K.Mizra is — at least initially — only targeting Samsung. The company specifically states “that the battery runtime prediction as implemented in Samsung mobile devices using younger versions of the Android OS infringes” the patent in question. By referencing the “younger versions of the Android OS” being targeted, K.Mizra may be implying that more recent versions use a different algorithm not covered by the patent. Of course, it’s also possible the firm may simply be testing the waters with Samsung, with plans to sue more companies if this initial suit is successful.

Whatever K.Mizra’s endgame, this lawsuit represents a chilling threat to the Android ecosystem.