Israeli Start-Up Claims that Apple Copied its Patented Smartphone Camera Technology

Apple Inc was sued by an Israeli startup. The tech giant was accused of copying the startup’s patented smartphone camera technology.

On Monday, Tel Aviv-based Corephotonics Ltd filed its patent infringement case against Apple Inc in a federal court in San Jose, California.

Corephotonics, which has raised about $50 million (30 million pounds) from various high-profile venture capital firms and other investors, claimed that its patented dual camera technology for mobile devices was included by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization.

According to the lawsuit, David Mendlovic, Corephotonics Chief Executive, approached Apple regarding a partnership. Corephotonics said that Apple praised the technology of the startup. However, it refused to licence it, even suggesting that it could infringe the patents of the latter with little consequence.

According to the complaint of Corephotonics Ltd, “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.”

An Apple spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment regarding the matter.

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

Through its newest funding round in January, Corephotonics collected $15 million from investors that included Foxconn, an electronics manufacturer, and MediaTek Inc, a chipmaker, and Samsung Ventures.

MediaTek is a supplier of modem chips to Apple and Foxconn is a contract manufacturer for Apple Inc.

The other investors of Corephotonics include Amiti Ventures, Magma VC, Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire, and the Horizon Ventures of Solina Chau, as well as SanDisk, the flash storage maker, and CK Telecom, a Chinese telephone services provider.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law firm that advised Samsung Electronics Co regarding its patent litigation with Apple Inc represents Corephotonics.