Corephotonics Sues Apple Over Dual-Lens Cameras in iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones, has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week alleging that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringe upon four of its patents.


    The patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, relate to dual-lens camera technologies appropriate for smartphones, including optical zoom and a mini telephoto lens assembly.o U.S. Patent No. 9,402,032
    o U.S. Patent No. 9,568,712
    o U.S. Patent No. 9,185,291
    o U.S. Patent No. 9,538,152Corephotonics alleges that the two iPhone models copy its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method, and a method for intelligently fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to improve image quality.

    iPhone X isn't listed as an infringing product, despite having a dual-lens camera, perhaps because the device launched just four days ago.

    Corephotonics showed off some of its technologies at Mobile World Congress last year. In particular, it demonstrated software capable of combining the images of two separate camera lenses to create a more detailed picture, including the ability to optically zoom up to 5x with no moving parts.

    Corephotonics, founded in 2012, describes itself as a pioneer in the development of dual camera technologies for mobile devices. The company's founders, led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, have decades of experience in the fields of optics and miniature digital cameras.

    In its complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by MacRumors, Corephotonics said one of its first acts as a company was to contact Apple. Despite receiving "many encouraging reports" and "positive feedback" from the iPhone maker, the companies never reached a license of any kind.
    Corephotonics said Apple proceeded to release the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera in September 2016, and has been willfully infringing upon its patents since that time. Corephotonics says Apple has knowledge of its patents, one of which the iPhone maker allegedly submitted as prior art in a patent application.

    Corephotonics even claims Apple's "lead negotiator" said it "would take years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might owe anything.
    It's worth noting that Apple acquired another Israeli camera company, LinX Imaging, back in 2015. LinX also specialized in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices, and Apple presumably incorporated some of its technologies into the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus cameras.

    Corephotonics is seeking damages of an amount to be proven in a jury trial, plus permanent injunctive relief. The complaint was filed with a U.S. District Court in Northern California, where Apple is headquartered.

    Article Link: Corephotonics Sues Apple Over Dual-Lens Cameras in iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus
  2. gabeo macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2014
  3. JM macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2014
    What a Patent Troll!!!!

    (...oh... what?.... Not a patent troll?....

  4. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    Yeah, definitely not a patent troll in this case.
  5. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Okay wait.... so there were two competing Israeli companies with the same idea (patent protection, anyone?), Apple bought the second one, and now the first one is crying? Gotcha.
  6. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I was wondering where this company fit in when I saw news in Mobile World Congress articles. I guess now I know.
  7. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
    Wait, what?!?!?! This lawsuit wasn't filed in East Texas?? o_O

    Don't they know ALL patent lawsuits are filed there and have a very good chance of winning regardless of proof?
  8. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2015
    DC / Baltimore / Northeast
    It looks like Apple bought the 2nd company as a cover operation for stealing the 1st company's ideas. Not good. :(
  9. iFan macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2007
    Don't mess with the Israeli people ;) I wonder why Apple didn't Acqui-hire them - must have been contentious negotiations that ruined any chance of goodwill.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 7, 2017 ---
    Second thought: I wonder if Apple's team thinks of it with these options-
    1) License the tech for x amount per device
    2) Acquire the firm
    3) Wait to be sued/settle

    You'd think that option 2 would be cheapest most of the time, if the plaintiff has any sort of case. Paying 300 million for a bunch of engineers and IP is cheaper than some settlements from even the patent trolls.
  10. JM macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2014
    Yeah, I know :) haha
  11. udayan81 macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2017
    Hmm.. If these patents actually were stolen (people can always claim something), then Apple is in the wrong. Big corporations always seem to buy the small companies when they want to get hold of their patents.
  12. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Didn’t know you knew the parents the purchased company had.

    Looks like Apple bought the company to use their patents.
  13. longpath macrumors member


    Apr 21, 2003
    Was there ever any litigation between LinX Imaging and Corephotonics?
  14. gavroche macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Left Coast
    you forgot option 4....

    4) Spend 3-7 years developing a new tech for your devices (Apple likes to take their time and get it right). Someone else comes out with a similar tech prior to Apple letting theirs out into the wild (often a much less refined product). That company sues Apple... because hey, they had it "first".

    Not saying thats the case here, but it is very often the case...
  15. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Agree. Brave move.
  16. HallStevenson macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2012
    Probably because they're pretty confident that their case is very valid.
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    MR is enamored with the word "alleged" to the point of comical misuse. Nothing about Mendlovic's experience is "alleged." According to the company web site:

    Prof. David Mendlovic holds B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University followed by a MINERVA post-doc fellowship. He is currently a Tel Aviv University full professor of electro-optics. He has authored more than 200 technical articles and 3 book chapters and is the holder of more than 40 patents, all of which have been commercialized. Prof. Mendlovic is the 1998 winner of the ICO (International Commission of Optics) Award. During the past decade, he led various commercial and business development activities. Two of his patents became worldwide technology standards (fibers for medical internal operations and long range barcode scanners commercialized by Symbol Technologies). He is a founder of successful opto-electronics startup companies, including Civcom and Eyesquad, and served as their CEO. After Eyesquad was acquired by Tessera, he became the General Manager of Tessera Israel and later the General Manager of Tessera’s Image Enhancement Division. Prof. Mendlovic also served a term as the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Science.​
  18. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    or maybe linx actually has the patents that apple needs. too early to tell.

    just because they think they have a case does not mean they actually do.

    not taking sides here. i do believe apple needs to pay them if this is all true and apple does indeed infringe on their patents. but it's just way too early to decide if they are right, without knowing more details.
  19. MaxinMusicCity macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Nov 7, 2017 ---
    If you can't find enough clients on your own, just sue Apple to suppliment your income stream.
  20. Mirice99 Suspended

    Jul 26, 2017
    Cue the cultists screaming patent troll and defend theft by Apple in 3...2...1
  21. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Apple copying Samsung ? What's the world coming to ??
  22. BugeyeSTI macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    Any other companies being sued considering how many have dual lense cameras on their phones?
  23. vmistery macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2010
    So often these things are reasonably clear cut even at a glance however in this case I’d say they might have something. What they probably don’t have however are the best people in the US working on their case!
  24. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    "Good artists copy, great artists steal"
  25. mcfrazieriv macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    There's nothing new about this concept. When DSLR cameras were low resolution in the early 2000's I'd take a wide shot and then switch lenses and move in closer to take photos I'd eventually stitch together for a larger MP image.

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