US lawsuit claims Apple infringed patents for Face ID and other camera tech: Report
It appears that Apple has found itself surrounded by another controversy, with a company filing a lawsuit against the Cupertino tech giant, alleging that it's camera-related technology infringes on patents owned by an engineer, according to a report.
According to a report from AppleInsider, an interesting claim made in the lawsuit that was filed earlier this week, is that Apple not only infringed on five patents owned by the engineer Dr Timothy Pryor, but that it was aware that it had done so and that Dr Pryor and Apple had previously worked together. The lawsuit has demanded a jury trial, a judgment that Apple infringed the patents, treble damages (with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest) and costs as well as legal fees.
The plaintiff, Gesture Technology Partners LLC, appears to have been started by Dr Pryor, who happens to be the inventor of the patents that have been mentioned in the suit, according to the report. The lawsuit claims that several features related to the camera have infringed on Dr Pryor's patents - including technology used in FaceID, facial recognition, Attention Aware features, optical image stabilisation, and Smart HDR.
Also interesting is the claim that Apple and Dr Pryor (who is an United States Army veteran) have worked together in the past, including his multi-touch patents, which was later asserted against HTC, the report states. “Dr Pryor conceived of the inventions embodied in (the patents) in the mid to late-1990s, when he was working on a variety of different projects related to imaging and computer control. Dr Pryor describes the process as a brainstorm that led to several breakthrough moments, ultimately resulting in (the patents),” the lawsuit states.
According to the plaintiff, Apple has purchased patents from Dr Pryor in the past - he owns around 200 patents and patent applications, according to the plaint. Dr Pryor had allegedly approached Apple about acquiring or licensing the rights to these patents, with Apple responding to GTP's request for discussions on licensing in June 2016, with negotiations continuing for nearly a year. The plaint claims that while Apple was aware of the asserted patents, they did not take any steps to change their products to avoid infringing on them.