Apple hit with patent suits over iPhone X camera, iOS 11 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' fe...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2018
A pair of lawsuits filed in two federal courts on Monday allege Apple's latest products are in infringement of multiple patents related to dual camera arrays in smartphones and smart device alerts.

iPhone 7 Plus Camera


The first case, lodged with the Northern California District Court, is being leveled by Israel-based camera specialist Corephotonics, which alleges Apple used key patented technology to create the dual camera array in iPhone X.

Corephotonics was founded in 2012 to develop next-generation smartphone camera technology under the guidance of Dr. David Mendlovic, a Professor at Tel Aviv University and former Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Science, according to the filing.

The firm's IP focuses on dual-aperture, fixed focal length camera technology to enable expanded zoom functionality with true telephoto capabilities. In addition, Corephotonics backed up its hardware designs with computational algorithms that ensure seamless switching between the two camera modules.

Apple touted a nearly identical set of features when it launched its first dual camera iPhone system with iPhone 7 Plus in 2016.

Corephotonics in a separate suit filed late last year took issue with the 7 Plus, though the current case offers additional information pertaining to Apple's interactions with the firm leading up to the handset's release.

Dating back to 2012, Apple executives and engineers met with Corephotonics staff and reviewed the company's intellectual property, specifically hardware and software solutions for multi-lens camera systems. Over the ensuing months, Apple sent various camera hardware and software teams to Corephotonics' headquarters in Tel Aviv to examine prototype components and learn about the firm's optical processing methods, as well as discuss potential partnership opportunities.

In June 2014, Apple expressed interest in licensing Corephotonics' dual camera algorithms and set up a meeting to discuss a business deal, according to the filing. Following the meeting, Apple requested access to a prototype telephoto lens, suggesting the companies could collaborate on hardware design.

Business negotiations were halted in August 2014, though technical discussions continued between Apple and Corephotonics engineering teams for a few weeks. The communication lull continued until 2016, when Mendlovic reached out to a "high level hardware executive" offering to discuss collaboration on future smartphone projects.

Following yet another meeting, Apple again expressed interest in formalizing a business agreement and requested information regarding IP licensing. That was in August 2016, one month prior to the debut of iPhone 7 Plus. By October, negotiations had again cooled and two subsequent meetings relating to potential licensing agreements bore no fruit.

After examining iPhone 7 Plus, Corephotonics deemed the handset to be in infringement of its patents. The company found much the same for iPhone X, Apple's most recent application of cutting-edge smartphone camera technology. Further evaluation of Apple's dual camera patents shows reference to Corephotonics IP and in some cases exact specifications noted in the current case's patents-in-suit.

Corephotonics names iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X as accused products, seeking damages, a permanent injunction against further sales and court fees.

Corephotonics iPhone X Lawsuit by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

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Do Not Disturb While Driving

In a separate case brought before the patent holder-friendly Eastern Texas District Court, Alert Signal Intellectual Property alleges Apple is in infringement of four patents related to the conditional receipt of alerts, text messages and other communications on smart devices. More specifically, the patents-in-suit describe methods of disabling alerts based on handset velocity.




As detailed in the filing, the IP covers techniques of using a velocity sensor to determine the speed of a target device. If the detected speed is akin to that of a moving car, for example, the system automatically silences incoming alerts. Further embodiments refine the system to allow high priority messages, like those appended with the text "urgent," to pass through. The system is automatically disabled when measured velocities return to normal speeds.

The suit takes direct aim at Apple's Do Not Disturb While Driving technology, introduced with iOS 11 last year. When the feature is active, iPhone monitors its situational state to detect when a user is in their car, whether it be a connection to a vehicle's USB port or Bluetooth, or motion.

If the device is determined to be in a moving vehicle, it mutes incoming messages and sends an automated reply letting the sender know the recipient is on the road. Senders can mark the message as "urgent," which bypasses Do Not Disturb While Driving safeguards. Phone calls are handled in a similar manner, with all calls blocked except those from contacts in a user's Favorites list or from people who attempt to make two consecutive calls in a short time span.





The patents-in-suit, all of which are currently titled "Alert Signal Control Using Receiver Velocity," were granted between 2012 to 2016 to inventor Gary Shuster, then reassigned to IP licensing firm Cerinet. Cerinet subsequently assigned the patent group to an entity called Alert Signal Intellectual Property. The holdings firm sued AT&T in late 2015 using three of the four patents asserted in its case against Apple, only to withdraw the complaint two months later.

ASIP seeks damages, interest and court fees in its suit against Apple.

Alert Signal IP Lawsuit by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    Do Not Disturb doesn’t work on notification messages which keep on blocking navigation. Will it be fixed in iOS12?
  • Reply 2 of 18
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Good fracking god, can't believe this crap!
    peterhartmacxpressmagman1979olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 1,049member
    Doesn’t Apple already hold a patent for Do Not Disturb? I remember it being issued some time ago. Therefore this lot are going to have to have Apple’s patent invalidated first. Good luck with that.
    davenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,646member
    So on one hand Apple gets sued (a little while ago) for not implementing s do not disturb while driving feature and now they get sued for implementing it?

    At least the camera suit seems legit.
    racerhomie3davenbonobobols
  • Reply 5 of 18
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,073member
    Bad Apple stealing camera technology, at least they can pay for it from the proceeds of their Samsung suit. Regarding the other one, obviously pure bullshit. BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 

    olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 297member
    BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 

    Except that in this case "velocity sensor" = GNSS, which actually relies on Einsteins theories. 
  • Reply 7 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 
    Can you clarify and explain? 
  • Reply 8 of 18
    benjwribenjwri Posts: 2member
    But Apple has a patent for do not Disturb While Driving ... https://patents.google.com/patent/US9641669
    magman1979ols
  • Reply 9 of 18
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,073member
    Soli said:
    BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 
    Can you clarify and explain? 
    Well all *unaccelerated* motion is relative. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial (not accelerating) reference frame. If you're on a plane travelling at a constant 600km/hour with no turbulence then then your iPhone cannot tell if you have a velocity relative to when you were waiting in line at the airport. The gps can calculate your velocity but that's not a 'sensor', in the sense that we use the word for an iPhone, like a heart rate sensor which senses either an electric pulse shining a light through your finger to read the variation in colour as the blood pulses through or via other means. An aeroplane has a pitot tube to measure the air speed nothing like that on the phone. I guess the accelerometer could measure steps and approximate a velocity, but there's no 'velocity sensor' as such.

    Solibonobobavon b7jony0dasanman69ols
  • Reply 10 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    Soli said:
    BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 
    Can you clarify and explain? 
    Well all *unaccelerated* motion is relative. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial (not accelerating) reference frame. If you're on a plane travelling at a constant 600km/hour with no turbulence then then your iPhone cannot tell if you have a velocity relative to when you were waiting in line at the airport. The gps can calculate your velocity but that's not a 'sensor', in the sense that we use the word for an iPhone, like a heart rate sensor which senses either an electric pulse shining a light through your finger to read the variation in colour as the blood pulses through or via other means. An aeroplane has a pitot tube to measure the air speed nothing like that on the phone. I guess the accelerometer could measure steps and approximate a velocity, but there's no 'velocity sensor' as such.
    Thanks. I see your point.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,483member
    Newton's theories maybe? Unless Do Not Disturb has inter dimensional and time travel potential? :)
    ols
  • Reply 12 of 18
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    It doesn't sound good for Apple with the whole camera thing. If true, Apple should pay up. With the No Not Disturb thing when driving. If you feel the need to file your case in Eastern Texas District Court. It's not worth crap and you know this is the only place you have a chance to win.
    jony0
  • Reply 13 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,960member
    Apple should pay up - if true, and not pay up - if not.

    i find it hard in this day in age for Apple, with everyone suing them right and left to purposefully and knowingly put itself into a position of stealing someone’s tech and hoping it doesn’t get caught.

    I’ll wait for actual facts to come out.  This one will be interesting.


    edited May 2018 tmay
  • Reply 14 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,379member
  • Reply 15 of 18
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,226member
    Doesn’t Apple already hold a patent for Do Not Disturb? I remember it being issued some time ago. Therefore this lot are going to have to have Apple’s patent invalidated first. Good luck with that.

    US8706143B1 Sounds something like it. 

  • Reply 16 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,035member
    Doesn’t Apple already hold a patent for Do Not Disturb? I remember it being issued some time ago. Therefore this lot are going to have to have Apple’s patent invalidated first. Good luck with that.

    Actually I had this feature on my Motorola Android phone back in 2009. It was one of the few features from Motorola I missed once I moved to the IPhone. The Motorola feature allow you to set triggers on what it did base on location and Bluetooth connections. I have it set when it connected to my car's Bluetooth and was plugged into the car charger it would automatically send a text to people telling them I was driving and I would get back to them later, it would also send calls to voicemail and if I did not try an answer it and it recognize the caller with mobile phone it would send them a text saying I was driving. It also have basic geo-fencing as well

    What Apple is doing is a subset of this, and if this company is going after Apple they better show they had the idea and patents prior to Motorola back in 2009. Otherwise they copied my Motorola was already doing 9 yrs ago.
    jony0
  • Reply 17 of 18
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,053member
    Soli said:
    BTW a 'velocity sensor' on a phone is a violation of Einstein's special relativity. Accelerometer, yes, 'velocity sensor', no. 
    Can you clarify and explain? 
    Well all *unaccelerated* motion is relative. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial (not accelerating) reference frame. If you're on a plane travelling at a constant 600km/hour with no turbulence then then your iPhone cannot tell if you have a velocity relative to when you were waiting in line at the airport. The gps can calculate your velocity but that's not a 'sensor', in the sense that we use the word for an iPhone, like a heart rate sensor which senses either an electric pulse shining a light through your finger to read the variation in colour as the blood pulses through or via other means. An aeroplane has a pitot tube to measure the air speed nothing like that on the phone. I guess the accelerometer could measure steps and approximate a velocity, but there's no 'velocity sensor' as such.

    Well put. It’s like the ball bouncing on a train analogy. The guy on the train see it bouncing up and down in place, and the people on the platform see it bouncing every 500 feet as the train flies by them. Our measure of distance and velocity disagree. 
  • Reply 18 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Just a point of clarification, a patent holder may allege infringement, but the final determination if there actually is infringement is settled via lawsuit or a patent examiner.

    After examining iPhone 7 Plus, Corephotonics deemed the handset to be in infringement of its patents. The company found much the same for iPhone X, Apple's most recent application of cutting-edge smartphone camera technology. Further evaluation of Apple's dual camera patents shows reference to Corephotonics IP and in some cases exact specifications noted in the current case's patents-in-suit. 


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