Israel-based Corephotonics sues Apple over iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus dual-lens camer...

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in iPhone
Israel-bases company Corephotonics has sued Apple, alleging that the iPhone manufacturer has used four of its patents surrounding dual-camera technology in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without permission or licensing.




The suit was filed on Monday in San Jose, Calif. federal court, and was first spotted by MacRumors. Allegedly, Apple stands in violation of patents filed in 2013 regarding dual-aperture zoom digital cameras, two patents regarding miniature telephoto lens assemblies, and high-resolution multi-aperture imaging systems.

In the filing, seen in part by AppleInsider, Corephotonics claims that Apple was approached regarding a partnership. Apple allegedly praised the technology, but refused a license, and "expressed contempt" about Corephotonics patent filings.

Corephotonics CEO David Mendlovic was informed that it would take "years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might have to pay anything to the startup. A quick scan of the U.S. patents database shows well over a thousand patents in the system related to dual-lens digital camera arrays, with a number of them attributed to Apple.

The suit names the iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 8 Plus. It is unclear why the iPhone X was omitted, and it seems probable that it will be added in an amendment at a later date.

Quinn Emanuael Urquhard & Sullivan represent Corephotonics -- the same firm that Samsung utilized in its design and utility battles against Apple.

Apple has not responded to the suit yet, nor has it issued any public comment regarding the matter. It is not known when any hearings regarding the matter will take place, and scheduling is unlikely in 2017 given the court's heavy schedule.

In 2015, Apple purchased multiple camera lens manufacturer and designer LinX. While the terms of the deal are still not known, the two companies were said to be discussion an acquisition price of around $20 million.

Prior to acquisition, LinX's website touted that its dual- and quad-lens arrays set new standards for low-light performance, HDR, refocusing, and color fidelity.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 264member
    Real timely. 7+ has been out for over a year. Corephotonics is just now figuring this out?
    jbdragonanton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    jdgaz said:
    Real timely. 7+ has been out for over a year. Corephotonics is just now figuring this out?
    It does not matter. For many of these companies, the longer they wait before filing suit, the bigger the per device damages that can (hopefully) wring out of Apple.

    SoliStrangeDaysanton zuykovmike54watto_cobracornchipracerhomie
  • Reply 3 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    jdgaz said:
    Real timely. 7+ has been out for over a year. Corephotonics is just now figuring this out?
    It does not matter. For many of these companies, the longer they wait before filing suit, the bigger the per device damages that can (hopefully) wring out of Apple.

    My thoughts exactly...if they can wait until Apple sells 150 Million iPhone 7 devices vs doing it earlier and they can only claim 75 million of them thats a big difference in pay day if they happen to get one. 
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Hahahaha, you mean just like Samsung did?? Same legal council....how come they did not sue this Chinese brands that sold dual lens phone way ahead of apple?? Hmmm i see its not worthwhile I guess 
    jbdragonwatto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 5 of 16
    There’s no end in litigations for Apple. Their legal councils must be one of the busiest if not the busiest law firm in the entire universe. That’s right, I said universe. 
    watto_cobraracerhomie
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Was there ever any litigation between LinX Imaging and Corephotonics?
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 7 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,880member
    Look at who Corephotonics lists as partners and customers, http://corephotonics.com/company/cp-net/. I wonder if Qualcomm is pushing Corephotonics to harass Apple. The specs of their camera look nice, a 5x optical zoom, but I'd like to know which phones actually use them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,545member

    Corephotonics CEO David Mendlovic was informed that it would take "years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might have to pay anything to the startup.

    I wonder who might have made such a comment, sounds like the lament of a third party. I'd be concerned and disappointed if someone at Apple had said this. If a Samsung official had let it slip regarding their abuse of Apple patents, we'd be all over it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    jdgaz said:
    Real timely. 7+ has been out for over a year. Corephotonics is just now figuring this out?
    It does not matter. For many of these companies, the longer they wait before filing suit, the bigger the per device damages that can (hopefully) wring out of Apple.

    They also have to have a reasonable assurance that they believe a technology infringes and then they have to pursue redress directly with said company.   After which and when that fails they have to go to court.

    I really don't know if there is real infringement but it does look bad for Apple if they handle infringement cases in this manner.   Basically they are telling a patent holder that they will drain them of cash if they try to protect their rights.   A pretty shitty attitude to have if you know your stuff infringes. Of course there is the real question of the quality of the patents in question but we are seeing so many of these cases that they is very likely merit in some of them.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 10 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member

    iqatedo said:

    Corephotonics CEO David Mendlovic was informed that it would take "years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might have to pay anything to the startup.

    I wonder who might have made such a comment, sounds like the lament of a third party. I'd be concerned and disappointed if someone at Apple had said this. If a Samsung official had let it slip regarding their abuse of Apple patents, we'd be all over it.
    It isn't impossible for somebody to have said this at Apple, there seems to be a building pile of comments from various patent holders that Apple does in fact take a very nasty attitude against people trying to protect their IP.   The only question here is does Apple itself believe that it infringes and if they do then yeah it is a pretty shitty attitude to take. On the flip side if they believe there are no infringements then maybe they are just trying to save somebody a lot of trouble for an issue they believe has no merit.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Is it theft if you arrive at a solution independently?
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Is it theft if you arrive at a solution independently?
    If one party has a patent and the other doesn't, it's not theft, but it might be infringement.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Hahahaha, you mean just like Samsung did?? Same legal council....how come they did not sue this Chinese brands that sold dual lens phone way ahead of apple?? Hmmm i see its not worthwhile I guess 
    suing any chinese company is a waste of time. their courts nearly always side with their own country's companies. the best that can be achieved is barring the sale outside of china.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    I have a brownie camera from the 50’s that has a triple lens. Clearly Apple was avoiding being sued by Kodak by not using 3 lenses. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,731member
    I have a brownie camera from the 50’s that has a triple lens. Clearly Apple was avoiding being sued by Kodak by not using 3 lenses. 
    FWIW Apple and Google partnered bought up all those Kodak patents to keep them from being used for IP lawsuits. And yeah I know you were joking. 
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 16 of 16
    wizard69 said:
    They also have to have a reasonable assurance that they believe a technology infringes and then they have to pursue redress directly with said company.   After which and when that fails they have to go to court.


    I really don't know if there is real infringement but it does look bad for Apple if they handle infringement cases in this manner.   Basically they are telling a patent holder that they will drain them of cash if they try to protect their rights.   A pretty shitty attitude to have if you know your stuff infringes. Of course there is the real question of the quality of the patents in question but we are seeing so many of these cases that they is very likely merit in some of them.
    It goes both ways. Core Photonics clearly knows that Apple has been working on this technology and that they bought LinX... their primary competitor. This is more than likely a fishing expedition on the part of Core Photonics. They've obviously tried to shake down Apple already and they likely tried to get purchased. Apple wasn't interested, so they try this law suit. I'm sure Apple has sufficient IP in this area to fend off the suit. We'll see.
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