The suit was filed on Monday November 6 in the San Jose office of the California Northern District Court. Corephotonics alleges Apple has included dual camera technology that infringes Corephotonics patents in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus and without its authorization, according to reports. Apple has its own patents after acquiring Israeli startup LinX Computational Imaging Ltd., for about $20 million in 2015.
David Mendlovic, Corephotonics CEO, approached Apple about a partnership but Apple declined to license the startup's technology and suggested it could infringe Corephotonics' patents with little consequence, according to a Reuters report of the filing.
"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," Reuters quotes the complaint as saying.
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Corephotonics, founded in 2012, has pioneered the use of dual image sensors for smartphones with digital processing the results to produce superior pictures. Corephotonics Hawkeye camera uses prisms to fold the light path parallel with the surface of the smartphone allowing thinner mobile phones in line with the dictates of fashion. It also enables stills photography with optical zoom of up to 3x and up to 8x zoom in video, even in low light conditions.
Corephotonics raised $15 million in a Series D round of financing in January 2017 that included Samsung Ventures, MediaTek and FoxConn as investors. The round brought the total raised by Corephotonics to more than $50 million.