The patent lawsuit between Corephotonics and LG InnoTek is in a quagmire as LG seems bent on delaying proceedings to wait for an invalidation judgment.
Corephotonics first claimed in 2017 via its YouTube channel that LG InnoTek violated its patents related to the dual-camera feature used on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. Corephotonics filed a lawsuit on the matter in South Korea in 2018 __ the two have been embroiled in trail ever since then.
At their latest hearing on Friday at Seoul Central District Court, when asked by the judge on whether they have an outside appraiser to suggest, a LG InnoTek representative said they had someone in mind from overseas but not in South Korea and said they will look for one. LG also said that the patent invalidation judgment was expected at the end of August and asked the next hearing to be set in September.
However, the judge set the hearing on August, accepting Corephotonics’ argument that the patent violation lawsuit being heard at the trial and the patent validation judgment were separate cases.
The trial has been effectively put on hold for the past eight months due to the issue of choosing an appraiser to evaluate the patent in question.
Corephotonics filed the lawsuit back in November, 2018, alleging that LG InnoTek violated its patents related to small field of view lens assembly. LG countered with its own request to South Korea’s patent office to invalidate the patents in question on June, 2019.
Meanwhile, Corephotonics filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US in 2017 for the same patents. The company claimed the iPhone maker violated four of its patents __ two of them are the same ones that are being judged in the trial in South Korea.
LG InnoTek is a main supplier of camera modules for Apple’s iPhones.
Corephotonics filed two more lawsuits against Apple afterwards __ one in April, 2018 for another patent and another in August, 2019 for ten more patents. The lawsuit filed in 2017 have been withdrawn but the others are on going.
Corephotonics has added more and more Apple smartphones every year that it claims violates its patents __ from iPhone 7 Plus to iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The company continues to maintain that dual-camera technology on these smartphones violates its patents.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics, Apple’s main rival in smartphones, acquired Corephotonics in early 2019. Corephotonics has developed what it calls folded zoom technology with Chinese smartphone maker Oppo. It uses a prism to bend the light that the image sensors absorb __ allowing modules to be made thinner.
The technology was first used in Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Apple is also reportedly attempting to commercialize the technology. Corephotonics’ lawsuits against LG InnoTek and Apple will likely only be expanded going forward.