Supply of flash memory as used in iPhones, some iPods and some Macs seems under legal threat under a new lawsuit bought by the US subsidiary of UK-based patent licensing company BTG International.

The company has filed suit in the patent holder friendly US District Court of Texas accusing Apple, Dell, and Sony of infringing five of its patents related to flash memory technology by using chips from Samsung Electronics.

The patents relate to electronically alterable non-volatile memory cell chips used in consumer electronics products. The company is seeking treble damages and a permanent injunction preventing imports of devices using these chips, including a ban on the import of iPhones and the BlackBerry Storm.

Also targeted are computers by Asustek Computer, Dell and Lenovo Group, and flash-memory cards by PNY Technologies and Transcend Information.

Allegedly infringing products include the iPod, iPhone, MacBook Air, Dell D630 Laptop, ThinkPad Laptop, Cyber-Shot digital cameras and various flash memory sticks and cards.

BTG doesn’t make products itself, simply making its money through licensing of technology patents it owns. It filed a first patent-infringement complaint against Samsung in federal court in Marshall, Texas, in December.

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