Apple Faces Patent Infringement Suit Over iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus Dual-Lens Cameras From Israel Start-up Corephotonics
Israeli start-up Corephotonics has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple in a federal court in San Jose, California.
According to Corephotonics, the Cupertino brand infringe on four of its patents with the dual cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.
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Tel Aviv University professor and CEO of Corephotonics Dr. David Mendlovic founded the Israeli start-up in 2012. It has raised $50 million in funding, which was through a $15 million round from Samsung Ventures, MediaTek, and Foxconn in January. Foxconn is one of Apple's many manufacturing partners, and MediaTek is reportedly being considered to be a chip supplier for Apple.
The company says that Apple used its dual-camera technology in its iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its permission.
The lawsuit claims that Dr. Mendlovic reached out to Apple for a partnership, but the parties involved didn't reach an agreement on the matter, Reuters reports.
It also continues to read that Apple had only good things to say about the technology of Corephotonics, but it didn't agree to license it, even going so far as to imply that it could infringe on the patents with "little consequences."
"Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics' 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."
Apple is urged to immediately cease using dual cameras and pay appropriate compensation for the law firm Corephotonics hired and other damages, the lawsuit reads.
The patents in question are related to dual-camera technologies, particularly miniature telephoto lens assembly (US 9402032 B2 and US 9568712 B2), optical zoom (US 9185291 B1), and high-resolution thin multi-aperture imaging systems (US 9538152 B2).
These patents were filed between November 2013 and June 2016 to the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO.
On an interesting note, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is representing Corephotonics, the same law firm that has advised Samsung, who lost the "slide to unlock" patent battle with Apple and has been ordered to pay $120 million for infringement, in its patent suits against the Cupertino brand.
While the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus are the phones mentioned in the lawsuit filed by Corephotonics, the iPhone X could possibly join the list in the foreseeable future. That's more or less expected considering that the device launched only recently with a $999 starting price.