Israeli Startup Sues Apple Over Dual-Lens Camera Technology

A lawsuit has been filed against Apple over an alleged infringement of a patent by an Israeli startup known as Corephotonics. According to the startup the dual-lens cameras that are present in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus that Apple released last year were in violation of a patent that Corephotonics holds. The Corephotonics patent was awarded to the startup in January and describes the assembly of telephoto lens components.

Last year in November Corephotonics had also sued Apple for violating dual-camera patents with regards to the iPhone 7 Plus. The ‘phablet’ in the iPhone 7 series was the first Apple device to possess a dual-lens camera. At the time the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus were already available for sale but Corephotonics did not include them in that lawsuit.

Strategic partnership

In the two lawsuits Corephotonics alleges that it tried to form a partnership with Apple. However the two firms were unable to reach an agreement with regards to possible licensing. According to the lawsuit Apple forged ahead without having a licensing agreement in place. Now Corephotonics says Apple owes it royalties on all the iPhones that have been sold and which have the dual-lens camera technology.

This comes in the wake of Apple reporting resilient sales of the iPhone despite waning global demand. The results topped the forecasts of Wall Street driving the shares north by 3.6% in after-hours trading. While Wall Street had expected revenues of $60.8 billion Apple posted $61.1 billion.

Weak demand

Prior to the release of the results suppliers spread around the world had issued warnings regarding weak demand for smartphones and this had led to predictions that iPhone sales would be weak. However Apple ended up selling 52.2 million iPhones compared to the 50.7 million units it sold last year in the same period.

The iPhone maker also disclosed that the dividend will be hiked by 16%. Last year Apple increased its dividend by 10.5%. While analysts are of the view that share buybacks will bolster the prices of shares, there were investors who would have preferred that Apple use the cash differently.

“I assume Apple can’t find a strategic investment at the current prices that will move the needle for them. The $100 billion buyback is good for right now but it’s not exactly looking to the future,” Hal Eddins, the chief economist for Capital Investment Counsel, an Apple shareholder, told Reuters.