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An Israeli based startup Corephotonics has now sued Apple alleging that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus smartphones infringe upon four of its patents related to dual-camera technology. The startup has filed its patent infringement case against Apple in a federal court in San Jose, California, which is also the headquarters of Apple.
Corephotonics, which has raised $50 million from several high-profile venture capital firms and other investors, said its patented dual camera technology for mobile devices was incorporated by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization.
Basically, the company has accused that the two Apple iPhone models copied 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.
Newly-launched "super-premium" iPhone X also has a dual-camera system but is said to be not a part of the lawsuit as of now.
Apple Declined to Enter into a Partnership
According to reports, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic had approached Apple about a possible partnership. However, Apple allegedly praised the technology but refused a license. Further, Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics' patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.
Apple has not given any statement regarding the case. While the company is yet to respond to the suit or issue a public comment, it was at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2016, Corephotonics displayed its dual-camera technologies.
Founded in 2012, Corephotonics which is led by Tel Aviv University Professor David Mendlovic calls itself a pioneer in the field of dual-camera technologies for smartphones. In 2015, Apple had acquired another Israeli camera company called LinX Imaging that also specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices.
Meanwhile, through its latest funding round in January, Corephotonics raised $15 million from investors that included Samsung Ventures, electronics manufacturer Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek.
Amidst all these, now it will be interesting to see where this battle will go between the two companies. This is not the first time for Apple as it is also engaged in a lawsuit with Qualcomm already. Seems like the company has one more obstacle in its path. In any case, Corephotonics will be represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, the law firm that advised Samsung Electronics on its patent litigation with Apple.