August 7, 2022
A Texas court ruled in her favor in a lawsuit against two Chinese companies. The company has located hundreds of companies that infringe its patents. A smartphone manufacturer signed a licensing agreement with it for tens of millions of dollars following its demand. “Israeli companies do not enforce their patents”
The District Court in Texas ruled in favor of the Israeli company Powermat, in a lawsuit it filed against two Chinese companies, Nanami and Yootech, for unauthorized use of the company’s patents in the field of wireless charging. As part of the settlement accepted in court, it was determined that the two Chinese companies, which market wireless chargers, mainly through Amazon, will pay Powermat an initial amount for past violations, and will also be required to pay royalties for future use of Powermat’s technology under a commercial licensing agreement.
Techtime has learned that this is not an isolated case, and that Powermat has begun an extensive process, which has lasted for over a year, aimed at monetizing its patent portfolio, which includes approximately 130 patents in the field of wireless charging. As part of the move, Powermat locates Companies in the world that violate its patents and demands that they compensate it for the violation and sign a licensing agreement with it for the continued use of the patents. If the companies do not respond to the demand, PowerMate may take legal action, as happened with Nanami and Yootech.
According to the company, there are hundreds of companies in the world that violate its patents. Techtime also learned that the move recently earned PowerMate a licensing agreement worth tens of millions of dollars with a major smartphone manufacturer, which PowerMate claims made unauthorized use of its technology. Powermat is currently negotiating with about twenty other companies with a similar demand.
The person managing the legal campaign for Powermat is First Libra. In a conversation with Techtime, the founder and chairman of First Libra, Ofer Pirat, who also serves as a director of Powermet by virtue of the collaboration with the company, explained that the potential in such a move is great. “Powermate has not systematically monetized its patents to date. PowerMate owns a large number of patents, and we take it upon ourselves to lead the monetization. When we identify a company that infringes a patent, we initially try to reach an agreement and offer them to sign a licensing agreement. Only if the negotiations do not go well, we turn to legal courts.”
Patents material to the QI standard
Powermat is considered one of the pioneers in the field of wireless charging and was the first company in the world to market surfaces for wireless charging. Charging is done through electromagnetic induction between the coil in the transmitter and the coil in the receiver, without the need to connect the device being charged to an electrical outlet via a cable.
One of the prominent standards in the industry that regulates the method of wireless charging is the QI standard. Powermat has a number of patents that are considered “essential to the standard” (standard essential), that is, necessary for the realization of the standard. Powermat took a central part in formulating the standard and is also a member of the WPC consortium, which promotes and enforces the standard.
Companies that wish to market a wireless charger under the QI Certified seal must submit their product for testing in one of the laboratories that work with WPC. Pirat explains that this makes locating the fruits of the patents a relatively simple task. “As soon as a company declares that its product has received QI standard certification, it is actually violating Powermat’s patents, as long as it does not have a licensing agreement with them. The judge in Texas expressly stated this in the ruling, and this is very significant for the continuation of Powermat’s efforts.”
As part of First Libra’s operating model, it bears the financing of the legal expenses and manages the proceedings, and if damages are awarded, it receives part of the amount. Pirat reveals that the company is currently in talks with two more Israeli hi-tech companies.
“Israeli technology companies register patents for their technologies, but do not always enforce them. Our goal is to identify companies that hold a wide portfolio of patents and examine whether there is economic viability, since the legal costs may be high.”
Published in the categories: IOT, WIRELESS, news, tablet and smartphone, law and intellectual property
Posted in tags: First Libra, powermat, Ofer Pirat, patents