[HOT] : iPhone, iPad, Mac: Apple would have violated a lot of patents on photo sensors

Apple is the target of a new complaint in the United States around photo sensors integrated into iPhone, iPad and Mac. The Taiwanese supplier KT Imaging accuses the firm of having infringed several of its patents, however registered in the United States.

Did Apple really make it all up in their iPhones, iPads and Macs? Besides the many components that are the result of partnerships, such as the 5G modem and antenna system manufactured by Qualcomm, the screens and memory chips manufactured by Samsung, the firm’s smartphones also use many components designed in-house. However, it could be that sometimes the engineers of the firm draw their inspiration where it should not be necessary.

This is in any case what seems to illustrate a complaint filed in the United States by KT Imaging, a Taiwanese supplier of integrated circuits and various packaged components, in particular CMOS photo sensors. The latter estimates that five of his patents registered in the United States have been infringed by the firm at the apple. These patents, filed between 2004 and 2008, in fact detail the design of several types of photo sensors and the methods for assembling them.

Did Apple steal the technologies of its photo sensors?

The 7,196,322, 7,511,261 and 8,004,602 patents were granted to KT Imaging in 2018 and registered in 2019. The 8,314,481 patent was acquired by the firm in 2019. The 7,598,580 patent was renewed in 2021. KT Imaging appears to be actively exploiting these patents. You can consult the documents and especially the illustration of the offending components by going to the USPTO site and by querying the database with the aforementioned references.

In the documents of the complaint, KT Imaging insists on the similarity between its designs and those of the photo sensors found in the 4th generation iPad, the iPhone 6S or the MacBook Air. KT Imaging also believes its patents have been infringed in the fourth generation iPad mini and iPhone 8 Plus. KT Imaging hopes, thanks to its complaint, to obtain the payment of damages. The fact remains that the firm seems very active in recent years in the legal field.

KTI has indeed filed a complaint against Kyocera, Lightcomm Technology and Panasonic for similar reasons in 2019. Then in 2020, the firm attacked Acer, Asus, Dynabook, LG and Samsung. In 2021, Apple is not the only firm targeted by a KTI lawsuit. Dell, Google and Microsoft are also targeted by complaints. This type of procedure can in theory lead to the withdrawal of the offending products from the market.

In fact, these cases end in an overwhelming majority of cases with an amicable solution – namely the payment of millions of dollars to put a definitive end to all the procedures.