Corephotonics sues Apple over dual-camera zoom patents

Israel-based company Corephotonics—which is best known for its smartphone dual-camera systems—has filed a patent infringement case against Apple in federal court. The company claims that has used Corephotonics' dual-camera zoom technology in the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus without authorization.

According to the complaint, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic had attempted to negotiate a partnership with Apple. However, while Corephotonics received positive feedback on their technology from Apple, the iPhone makers refused a licensing deal, suggesting Corephotonics patents could be infringed with little consequence.

From the lawsuit:

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.

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.

Corephotonics investors include Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek, which are both suppliers to Apple. In the lawsuit the company is represented by legal firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which also advised Samsung Electronics on its patent litigation with Apple.

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