Apple Sued for Camera Patent Infringement


Iphone – Apple Sued for Camera Patent Infringement. An Israeli startup has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. (AAPL), claiming that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant used its patented smartphone camera technology in two iPhone models without authorization.

Corephotonics, a Tel Aviv-based startup founded in 2012 by university professor David Mendlovic, filed its patent infringement case against Apple in federal court in San Jose, California, on Monday, according to Reuters. Corephotonics, which describes itself as a worldwide market leader of dual camera technologies for smartphones and mobile devices, said Apple used its patented technology in both the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without asking for permission.

In the lawsuit, Corephotonics CEO Mendlovic claimed that he initially made contact with Apple in the hope of establishing a strategic partnership. Apple, the startup went on to allege, was impressed by the firm’s technology, but decided not to license it. According to Corephotonics, the iPhone maker hinted that it could infringe its patents and potentially get away with it.

“Apple’s lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’s patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something,” the complaint said.

According to The Verge, Corephotonics is seeking an undisclosed amount of monetary compensation to cover lawyers’ fees and additional damages. The startup also requested that Apple immediately stop using its dual-aperture cameras.

The iPhone X also uses dual lens camera technology, but was left out of the lawsuit, presumably because it was launched after the case against Apple was prepared. Reuters was unable to get a comment from an Apple spokesperson about the allegations.

The majority of high-end smartphones feature the dual camera systems that Corephotonics claims Apple stole. Apple is even believed to have its own patent on the technology, which is designed to enable users to zoom in on images without jeopardizing quality. (See also: Apple’s iPhone X Is Sold Out in Many Major Cities.)

Corephotonics claimed that Apple infringed four of its patents in total. They include two patents on mini telephoto lens assembly, one patent on dual aperture zoom digital cameras and one on high resolution thin multi-aperture imaging systems.

The startup has so far raised $50 million from venture capital firms and other investors, including $15 million from the likes of Apple supplier Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek Inc. during its latest funding round in January. MediaTek, according to the Wall Street Journal, could be about to join Foxconn as an established Apple supplier.