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 as follows:
U.S. Patent No. 9,402,032
U.S. Patent No. 9,568,712
U.S. Patent No. 9,185,291
U.S. Patent No. 9,538,152
Corephotonics 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.
Somehow, consumers also got roped into the lawsuit. Since Apple is selling the products with “knowledge of or willful blindness” of the patents it’s allegedly infringing, the lawsuit claims that consumers who buy the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus are infringing on the Corephotonics’ telephoto lens assembly patent as well.
The suit demands monetary compensation for the lawyers the Israeli firm has had to hire as well as additional damages. It is also calling for Apple to stop using dual-aperture cameras immediately. Curiously, the iPhone X is left out of the lawsuit though it also uses dual lens camera technology, possibly because the suit was prepared before Apple’s latest flagship phone reached physical stores in November.