Is­raeli startup sues Ap­ple over patent rights

The East African - - OUTLOOK - By JAN WOLFE Reuters Pic: File

AN IS­RAELI startup has sued Ap­ple Inc, ac­cus­ing the iphone maker of copy­ing its patented smart­phone cam­era tech­nol­ogy.

Tel Aviv-based Corepho­ton­ics Ltd filed its patent in­fringe­ment case against Ap­ple in a fed­eral court in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia in the US, on Mon­day. Corepho­ton­ics, which has raised $50 mil­lion from sev­eral high-pro­file venture cap­i­tal firms and other in­vestors, said its patented dual cam­era tech­nol­ogy for mo­bile de­vices was in­cor­po­rated by Ap­ple in the iphone 7 Plus and iphone 8 Plus with­out its au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Corepho­ton­ics chief ex­ec­u­tive David Mendlovic ap­proached Ap­ple about a part­ner­ship. Ap­ple praised the start-up’s tech­nol­ogy but re­fused to li­cense it, Corepho­ton­ics said, even sug­gest­ing it could in­fringe the lat­ter’s patents with lit­tle con­se­quence.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, “Ap­ple’s lead ne­go­tia­tor ex­pressed con­tempt for Corepho­ton­ics’ patents, telling Dr Mendlovic and oth­ers that even if Ap­ple in­fringed them,, it would take years and mil­lions of dol­lars in lit­i­ga­tion be­fore Ap­ple would have to pay some­thing.” An Ap­ple spokesman did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a re­quest for com­ment.

Many high-end smart­phones in­clude dual cam­era sys­tems that can zoom in with­out los­ing im­age qual­ity. Ap­ple has its own patents on dual cam­era tech­nol­ogy.

Through its lat­est fund­ing round in Jan­uary, Corepho­ton­ics raised $15 mil­lion from in­vestors that in­cluded Sam­sung Ven­tures, elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­turer Fox­conn and chip­maker Me­di­atek Inc. Fox­conn is one of Ap­ple’s con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ers. Ap­ple is con­sid­er­ing Me­di­atek as a chip sup­plier, ac­cord­ing to the Wall Street Jour­nal.

Corepho­ton­ics is rep­re­sented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sul­li­van, the law firm that ad­vised Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co on its patent lit­i­ga­tion with Ap­ple.

Corepho­ton­ics Ltd says Ap­ple used its dual cam­era tech­nol­ogy with­out per­mis­sion.

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