A wireless charging and antenna design outfit called NuCurrent is suing Samsung for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, alleging that the South Korean giant is using NuCurrent's proprietary technology in some of its smartphones without permission. According to NuCurrent's suit, Samsung asked the company to present its technology for consideration back in 2015. NuCurrent built a detailed presentation and other materials around how to improve the wireless charging on the Galaxy S6 and adapt it to a new handset, and the company alleges that Samsung's engineers and executives told them that there was no interest in using NuCurrent's technology, but then designed an extremely similar solution using information gleaned from NuCurrent's visit, including proprietary and classified information that was protected under a confidentiality agreement. During the visit, NuCurrent brought over two sample coils, and claims that Samsung kept both. One was based on the coil found in the Galaxy S6, but with NuCurrent's improvements, and another was an original design built to be used in a smartphone. Samsung, for its part, has yet to put out any sort of official response to NuCurrent's claims.
NuCurrent, in its suit, points to its multiple industry partners and accolades, including multiple awards for innovation in wireless power, among others. With proof laid out that NuCurrent is no patent troll, the suit goes on to allege that Samsung's unauthorized use of NuCurrent's technology led to the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and future Samsung flagship handsets boasting wireless charging capabilities that included fast enough charging to nearly match a wall outlet, giving wireless charging the opportunity to go mainstream in the consumer mindspace. Starting with the Samsung Gear S2, this can be applied to smartwatches, as well. This, NuCurrent alleges, played no small part in the immense popularity enjoyed by Samsung's handsets over the past couple of years, not to mention the money made in sale of official accessories, since cheaper accessories were mostly unable to produce the same charging speeds.
NuCurrent is seeking damages to be determined at trial, likely somewhere in the area of what it would have made if Samsung had worked with it from the start. The suit also seeks injunctive relief, both in blocking Samsung from continuing to sell products that include infringing designs, and from creating products with those infringing designs in the future. Barring that, NuCurrent wants Samsung to pay it appropriate licensing fees for the use of its patented technologies going forward.