iPhone & iPad Touch ID technology at center of suit filed by probable patent troll

in iPhone
A South Korean company, First Face, has launched a U.S. patent infringement lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung over their implementation of fingerprint detection to unlock smartphones.

The case was reportedly filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose on Apr. 10, BusinessKorea claimed on Thursday. The company is said to have three U.S. patents on the technology, and is accusing Apple of violating of them with all Touch ID devices, and Samsung of infringing with products like the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Tab S2.

AppleInsider was not able to find the suit paperwork on Thursday morning for the suit, nor any suit filed against Apple in the entirety of April, minus the Qualcomm matter ongoing in Texas. It is possible a filing irregularity has led to it not being entered, but if the suit had actually been filed on April 10 it should be available for digital retrieval by now.

Business Korea describes Firstface as a "venture company" -- a term it reserves for so-called "patent trolls" using sold or purchased patents as a moneymaker in lawsuits, without producing any actual products, or having done the research itself.

Citing fellow Korean publication FN News, the Korea Herald noted that First Face claims fingerprint unlocks were "unprecedented" before an invention by co-CEO Jung Jae-lark. Jung is working with co-CEO Shim Young-tack and U.S. attorney Lee Jae-gyu on the lawsuit.

Both CEOs allegedly offered a licensing deal to Apple, but were rejected. Notably First Face also has patents on facial and iris recognition in several countries, but isn't pursuing them in the current matter despite the existence of technologies like the iPhone X's Face ID.

Apple has used Touch ID in most iPhones and iPads since the arrival of the iPhone 5s in 2013, later adding it to the MacBook Pro. The company is expected to transition entirely to Face ID, starting with updated iPad Pros this summer, then three new iPhones in the fall. That includes 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED models as well as a somewhat cheaper phone with a 6.1-inch LCD. In fact the LCD model may be largely identical to its counterparts, the difference being its slightly inferior screen.

Apple first filed for a patent on the iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor in March 2013.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,035member
    Even as of today has anyone caught up to Apple's secure and fast biometric for the iPhone 5s?
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Soli said:
    Even as of today has anyone caught up to Apple's secure and fast biometric for the iPhone 5s?
    PErhaps these people think that their system is better and that Apple made a bad copy of it... /s
  • Reply 3 of 6
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,288member
    So Apple acquired AuthenTec in July 2012, which includes their software, hardware and Patents. I don't see a case here. It's just another patent troll fishing for some Apple money.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,474member
    I thought fingerprint authentication has been around quite awhile...besides that, biometric authentication was conceived long before it would have been commercially available so at the most maybe ones implementation is all that could be patented.

    Anyone find the dates of their patents?
  • Reply 5 of 6
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,212member
    I hearby patent all brainwave controlled UI and OS elements. See you in East Texas in 2035. 
  • Reply 6 of 6
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    What a bunch of amateurs. No East Texas, no money!
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