Apple Taken to Court for Patent Infringement Related to Dual-Camera iPhones Dating Back to the iPhone 7 Plus
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple for infringing on a patent related to digital cameras that uses multiple sensors along with multiple lenses to enhance photographs. The plaintiffs have stated that Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max infringes on this patent.
Lawsuit Details That Features Like Portrait Mode, Portrait Lightning, Bokeh Effect and Others Present in Various Dual-Camera iPhones Infringe That Patent
Yanbin Yu and Zhongxuan Zhang are the plaintiffs that say the dual-camera system that Apple deployed in the iPhone 7 Plus and later models infringe an invention which they developed back in 1999. Called ‘Digital cameras using multiple sensors with multiple lenses’, the U.S. Patent No. 6,611,289 discusses the methods that could improve the quality of digital photographs.
It refers to taking multiple pictures with several camera lenses and sensor arrays and merging them together to create a single picture. It further mentions analog-to-digital converters for both the sensors that work in concert and an image signal processor which combines the pictures to enhance the quality of the final image.
This patent was granted in 2003, five years before Apple filed for a patent for a multi-sensor camera system in 2008. The plaintiff also says that Apple brought Israel's PrimeSense on board to embed 3D imaging capabilities in dual cameras and later on invested in LinX Imaging to deploy the technology that was discussed originally in the '289 Patent.
Per the plaintiffs, the Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, digital zoom, True Depth camera, and bokeh effect that was seen on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max infringe on the '289 patent. Apple’s 8,115,825 patent was rejected initially by the USPTO because of the '289 Patent, which means Apple was aware of this issue since 2011. However, Apple never contacted the plaintiffs or tried to get a license for using the '289 technology.
As of right now, Yu and Zhang are now seeking damages from Apple, but the amount has not been disclosed.