Samsung Set to Buy Camera Company That Sued Apple for Patent Infringement

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Samsung is close to completing a deal that will see it purchasing Israeli smartphone camera company Corephotonics for $150 million, reports Israeli news site Globes (via Android Authority).

The Corephotonics name may sound familiar to those who follow iPhone news because in 2017, Corephotonics levied a lawsuit against Apple accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on several Corephotonics camera patents with the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.


The patents in question relate to dual-lens camera technologies such as optical zoom and mini telephoto lens assembly techniques. The iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus both use a dual-lens camera setup with 2x optical zoom and a wide-angle lens paired with a telephoto lens.

Dual-lens camera technology was first introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 and it has subsequently been used in the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Corephotonics' original lawsuit covered just the 7 Plus and 8 Plus, but in 2018, the company filed a new patent infringement lawsuit that also covers the iPhone X.

According to Corephotonics, Apple's iPhones with dual-lens cameras use patented telephoto lens designs, optical zoom techniques, and a method for fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to create a better quality photograph.

When the lawsuit was filed, Corephotonics said that it contacted Apple, but after "positive feedback" and "encouraging reports," the two companies were unable to reach a licensing agreement. Corephotonics accused Apple of releasing the iPhone 7 Plus anyway, complete with infringing technology.

The legal matter between Corephotonics and Apple has yet to be resolved, so Samsung could inherit the dispute should it move forward with the Corephotonics purchase. Apple and Samsung in June 2018 reached a settlement for a design infringement lawsuit that spanned seven years.

Corephotonics developed the 5x optical zoom camera demonstrated by in an Oppo smartphone prototype in 2017, and it has detailed work [PDF] on a triple-lens camera setup that could allow for 5x optical zoom and a 25x total zoom feature that lets in 5x more light than traditional setups. Should Samsung purchase Corephotonics, these technologies could make their way to future Samsung devices.

Article Link: Samsung Set to Buy Camera Company That Sued Apple for Patent Infringement
 

LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
5,559
12,076
this reminds me back in the day when both Sony and Microsoft were found to be violating a patent regarding rumble in their controllers.

Sony took a hard stance to defend against the lawsuit no matter what.

Microsoft bought the company instead, kept using the patents sine they then owned them and continued the lawsuit against Sony till Sony finally relented.

Wonder if this had similar undertones where Samsung knew they'd be next and instead of waiting for a lawsuit, just bought the company anyways.
 

GuruZac

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2015
989
2,245
Camera hardware obviously matters but it seems like great software is the real game changer. Look no further than what Google has been able to achieve with their computational software in the Pixel. And to credit Apple, what they’ve done with the XR since it’s relying on similar software for the Portrait mode feature and the Smart HDR.
 
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bladerunner2000

macrumors 68020
Jun 12, 2015
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Apple's getting bodied as of late, LOL. Poor Apple, terrible luck for a trillion dollar company.
 

joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
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Apple should have just bought the company for the same price, makes me wonder if Apple offered something like that?
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,114
7,624
This will happen again when Apple releases the 2019 iPhone with 3 rear lenses.

As a follower in camera tech, lawsuits are not surprising.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,535
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Is that why the XR has only one lens?
The XR was rated as having the best single-lens camera of all current smartphones. It's a great camera! Not a compromise in any way.
[doublepost=1548705542][/doublepost]
Interesting move, maybe Apple should have thought of this.

P.S. I still hate the camera "bump".
So, flatten the hump and reduce the camera quality, or get a case to "hide" the bump and have a better camera. Pick your evil.
 

Sevanw

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Sep 13, 2014
1,361
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Samsung was already a major investor in this company. So not surprising they bought the company. Apple probably thought, we'll take our time in court with this small company and slowly drain them of cash. Lol. Not anymore. As the great Mike Tyson said, "everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face." This purchase by Samsung is that punch in the face to Apple. Apple should've settled for a chump change settlement when it was possible. Good 'ol Apple greed.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
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The XR was rated as having the best single-lens camera of all current smartphones. It's a great camera! Not a compromise in any way.
[doublepost=1548705542][/doublepost]

So, flatten the hump and reduce the camera quality, or get a case to "hide" the bump and have a better camera. Pick your evil.
Or make the phone 3 mm more thick and have a a better look and feel, a flat back, no camera bump and lots of space for additional battery.
 

prasand

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2015
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UES, New York
For some reason, it doesn't seem to make sense that a company in an existing lawsuit can buy one another. However, it makes sense that Samsung would want to get ahead of being next, or paying higher royalties upon the other company winning its lawsuit.
 

sentiblue

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2012
186
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Silicon Valley
Looks like Samsung bought this company only so that they can continue be a hostile to Apple.
I think that's very very unwise. Apple is one of their biggest customers. Keep going at them and they will eventually one day get rid of Samsung as a supplier and ink a deal with someone else.

Better yet, they would offer capital to a much smaller company to increase their development and take over Samsung for SOC production. Although they did the same thing with a glass producer and that attempt failed but they would have grown much wiser in the matter and make the right decision this time.
 

prasand

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2015
505
336
UES, New York
Looks like Samsung bought this company only so that they can continue be a hostile to Apple.
I think that's very very unwise. Apple is one of their biggest customers. Keep going at them and they will eventually one day get rid of Samsung as a supplier and ink a deal with someone else.
I doubt Samsung intends on being hostile with Apple due to those reasons. Seems more like they'd work out an agreement or even licensing with Apple, and drop the lawsuit.
 
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