Court hears that Apple stole dual-lens technology from Israeli firm

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Another company is taking Apple to court, this time because its double-lens camera design is allegedly an infringement of patents earlier registered by Israeli camera tech company Corephotonics.

Just before the end of 2017, Corephotonics took Apple to court, claiming that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8’s dual-lens camera system violated patents it registered earlier. This month, the company filed a second lawsuit, this time including an even wider range of iPhones.

The latest complaint was lodged with the US District Court in California’s Northern District. It claims that all double-lens iPhones launched since the iPhone 7 Plus violate ten or more of its patents. The list includes the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS and iPhone X.

The patents that Corephotonics refers to were registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office from November 2013 to June 2016. They cover a range of technologies associated with twin-lens camera systems for smartphones, including mini telephoto lens assemblies, optical zoom, and a software-based system for merging images taken by more than one lens.

As was the case with the earlier lawsuit, Corephotonics claims that members of its team actually met with Apple to discuss twin-lens camera technology and also a possible licensing affiliation. The company further claims that Apple secretly stole its technology for dual-lens cameras and started using it in its own smartphones.

Corephotonics further argues that its Cupertino-based rival was “well aware” of its technology and existing patents. After its release, Corephotonics workers studied the iPhone 7 Plus and found that it breached the firm’s patents.

It has to be mentioned that Apple acquired LinX, another Israeli camera business developing multi-lens camera systems, in 2015 and registered its first patents for dual-lens cameras a year later. At the time, LinX was Corephotonics’ main competitor.

Apple’s iPhone XR might still feature a twin-lens system, but the firm is expected to launch at least two iPhones with triple lenses in September.


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