09 February 2019
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple Inc. alleging infringement of an old patent filed for dual camera technology that enhances digital photographic images with the help of multiple sensors and lenses.
The US Patent filed under No. 6,611,289 for “Digital cameras using multiple sensors with multiple lenses" talks about the methods of improving the quality of digital photographs. This patent was granted in 2003 which states the technique of capturing multiple images with multiple camera lens and sensor arrays. The patent focuses on a four-camera mechanism that merges images shot from monochrome sensors into a single multi-color image.
As per the complaint, five different claims have been made especially with the dual lens setup, where two separate cameras are placed closed to each other on a plain surface to capture distinct “intensity image”.
Plaintiffs Yanbin Yu and Zhongxuan Zhang allege Apple's iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max infringe on the '289 patent. All handsets feature rear-facing dual-camera arrays with both wide-angle and telephoto lenses used to produce Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting and digital zoom photos. Apple's iPhone X and XS series devices go further with Portrait Mode and lighting selfie photo capabilities powered by the TrueDepth camera system, reported AppleInsider.
Both Yu and Zhang claims that Apple was made aware of the '289 property as early as 2011 and did not seek to license the previously awarded patent. While continuing to market the devices Apple was aware of the fact that these phones infringed the patent. They now seek damages with the option to treble due to "willful, wanton, deliberate and egregious" infringement and attorneys' fees in their lawsuit.
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