Israeli Company Sues Apple For Dual-Camera Patent Infringement
Israeli company Corephotonics has filed a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement. It looks like Apple can’t catch a break, as this case has emerged right after it won a US $120 million case against Samsung. Corephotonics, a maker of dual lens camera technology, claims that the cameras featured in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringe on four of its patents.
Corephotonics was founded in 2012 by Dr. David Medlovic, a Tel Aviv University professor and former chief scientist in the Israeli government.
Corephotonics claims in the lawsuit that it reached out to Apple “as one of its first acts as a company” to establish a strategic partnership. The exchanges with Apple continued for a some time but never resulted in a license agreement for Corephotonics’ dual lens technology. In the lawsuit, the company claims:
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.
According to the lawsuit filed, Apple infinged four patents that Corephotonics filed between 2012 and 2015. Of the four, two patents were on mini telephoto lens assembly, one patent on dual aperture zoom digital cameras, and one on high resolution thin multi-aperture imaging systems, which is essentially an umbrella term that covers what dual lens cameras are.
The company claims that its dual aperture camera technology has two fixed-focal length lenses, including a wide angle and a telephoto lens, which is what Apple uses in its iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.
In a bizarre turn of events, the Israeli company has roped in the consumers as well in this lawsuit. Corephotonics says since Apple is selling the phones with “knowledge of or wilful blindness” of the patents it’s allegedly infringing, the lawsuit claims that consumers who buy the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus are infringing on the Corephotonics’ telephoto lens assembly patent as well.
The lawsuit demands monetary compensation for the lawyers that Corephotonics has had to hire along with additional damages. It is also demanding that Apple stop using dual-aperture cameras immediately.