Corephotonics makes dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones and claims that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringes upon four of its patents - US Patent No. 9,402,032, 9,568,712, 9,185,291 and 9,538,152.
The patents, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, relate to dual-lens camera technologies appropriate for smartphones, including optical zoom and a mini telephoto lens assembly.
Corephotonics said the two iPhone models copy its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method, and a method for intelligently fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to improve image quality.
iPhone X isn't listed as an infringing product, despite having a dual-lens camera, perhaps because the device launched just four days ago.
Corephotonics has demonstrated software capable of combining the images of two separate camera lenses to create a more detailed picture, including the ability to optically zoom up to 5x with no moving parts.
The company's founders, led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, have decades of experience in the fields of optics and miniature digital cameras.
Apparently after inventing the tech, the first place it took it too was Apple. Despite receiving "many encouraging reports" and "positive feedback" from the iPhone maker, the companies never agreed on a licence of any kind.
Corephotonics said Apple proceeded to release the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera in September 2016, and has been willfully infringing upon its patents ever since. Corephotonics says Apple has knowledge of its patents - in fact Jobs’ Mob even submitted one as prior art in a patent application.
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.
Jobs' Mob acquired another Israeli camera company, LinX Imaging, back in 2015. LinX also specialised in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices, and Apple presumably incorporated some of its technologies into the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus cameras.
Corephotonics is seeking damages of an amount to be proven in a jury trial, plus permanent injunctive relief. The complaint was filed with a US District Court in Northern California, where Apple is headquartered.