There seems to be few things that 3M doesn't have some sort of patent claim to, and it looks like laptop batteries are no exception, with the company now putting some of those patents to the test, claiming that Sony, Lenovo, and a number of other companies have been using 'em without permission. According to Bloomberg, the newly-filed lawsuit centers on the cathode materials used in the batteries and demands that the U.S. International Trade Commission block all imports of the batteries in question and the laptop computers they're used in. In addition to Sony and Lenovo, the lawsuit also points the finger at CDW, Total Micro Technologies, and Batteries.com, as well as Hitachi and Matsushita, although apparently not for their laptop batteries, with them instead getting on 3M's bad side for the batteries used in their cordless power tools. From the sound of it, the lawsuit doesn't appear to have anything to do with the now infamous
problems affecting many of the batteries from the aforementioned companies, with 3M boasting that their technology results in batteries that last longer and are less likely to overheat.