Israeli firm Corephotonics, founded in 2012 and led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming that the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus infringed on four of its patents. In its lawsuit, Corephotonics said that both companies did not manage to reach an licensing agreement despite ‘many encouraging reports’ and ‘positive feedback’ from Apple.
“As one of its first acts as a company, Corephotonics reached out to Apple in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership. Corephotonics received many encouraging reports and positive feedback from Apple about its technology, but the parties never concluded a license to the Corephotonics technology.”
Corephotonics added that Apple’s lead negotiator said it would ‘take years and millions of dollars in litigation’ before a ruling might be passed for Apple to pay anything.
“In fact, after one failed effort to negotiate a license, 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.”
The four patents were filed with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, and encompass dual-lens camera technologies such as optical zoom and mini telephoto lens assembly. Corephotonics claims that Apple copied its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method and a technique for combining images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to enhance image quality.
The iPhone 7 Plus was introduced in September 2016, which was one year after Apple acquired Israeli camera technology company LinX for US$20 million. It is believed that Apple integrated some of LinX’s technologies in multi-aperture cameras which use several sensors to capture 2D and 3D images.