Apple accused of patent infringement because it sells a connected water bottle
Apple is accused of infringing the patents of a US firm called Xennial IP LLC. The company claims that the connected water bottle HidrateSpark STEEL, sold on the Apple Store, infringes several of its patents. She filed a complaint against the giant Californian.
For the past few months, Apple has been selling a connected gourd called HidrateSpark STEEL on its Apple Store. Priced at € 84.95 in France, the bottle allows you to track your water consumption throughout the day via an application on iPhone and Apple Watch.
“A smart LED sensor integrated into the lower part lights up to remind you to drink regularly and tracks how much water you drink via the HidrateSpark app which syncs using a Bluetooth connection. ”, explains the Apple Store.
A complaint has been filed against Apple for patent theft
Unfortunately, this connected gourd may cause problems for Apple. According to Xennial IP LLC, a company based in Ohio (United States), the HidrateSpark STEEL bottle violates several of his patents. The firm explains that it has filed several patents describing a “Communicative sports water bottle” able to connect to a smart device to measure water consumption with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Annoyed that Apple markets the connected water bottle on its online store, Xennial IP LLC has just filed a lawsuit in Ohio court. We will be surprised that the firm decides to file a complaint against Apple, which is content to sell the product but does not manufacture it, rather than against the designer of the gourd. This is a classic case of “patent troll”. This practice designates companies whose only source of income is to seek licenses for patents. In order to exist, these firms file patents with a vengeance.
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In the complaint, Xennial IP LLC assures that the HidrateSpark STEEL bottle is in violation of its patents because it embeds intelligent systems such as a sensor and Bluetooth connectivity. The gourd also comes close to the description provided in a Xennial patent, namely a “Bottle body having a base and an upwardly extending flank defining a fluid chamber”.
Source: Apple Insider