Apple hit with lawsuit claiming patent infringement over TrueDepth Camera, Portrait Mode, the bokeh effect and more

“Apple has been sued by Yanbin Yu and Zhongxuan Zhang for infringing their patent relating to digital cameras using multiple sensors with multiple lenses,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “The lawsuit claims that Apple’s iPhone’s 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X, the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max (collectively ‘Apple Accused Products’) infringe on their IP.”

“The Plaintiff claims that Apple relied on their acquisition of Israel’s PrimeSense to deliver their 3D imaging capabilities in dual cameras yet the Plaintiff’s patent #6,611,289 was issued in 2003 predating PrimeSense becoming a business in 2005,” Purcher reports. “They continued to state that the other technology Apple obtained from LinX is useless in this case against their patent.”

Purcher reports, “Apple’s Bokeh and Portrait mode features are fruit from technology found in their ‘829 patent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, for their sakes, Yanbin Yu and Zhongxuan Zhang do not have their hopes up.

Apple confirms acquisition of Israel’s PrimeSense, company behind Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, for $350 million – November 25, 2013
Apple buys Israeli 3D/multi-image camera company LinX Computational Imaging – April 14, 2015


  1. According the Patently Apple, “The patent infringement case presented in today’s report was filed yesterday in the California Northern District Court. At present no Judge has been assigned to this case.”

  2. It always takes a while for the fringe opportunists to figure out an angle to cheat and steal from others. Let’s hope Yu und Zhang get to pay the whopping court costs after being denied as a lesson in restraint.

    1. *IF* Apple has used any of their IP. Yes, Apple takes some time to build the capability to do what is described in what is usually a very broad and loosely-worded patent that somehow gets awarded.

      Why do you think Apple is always late to all these “me-too” band-wagon parties for the latest feature held by MS, Samsung, Google, Amazon, etc.?

      Because Apple hasn’t jumped on some idea the moment someone pulls it out of their ear.

      Everyone else jumps on the idea in an effort to get it into their half-baked product first, just to be able to sell a differentiated product for six months before it becomes yesterday’s news and no different than everyone else’s feature of the year product.

      The others can jump on it, because they do in fact all use the same implementation of the idea. They can’t conceive of any other way to do something.

      Instead, if Apple likes an idea, they are happy to work on it from their own angle for several years or more (this patent was awarded in 2003!). Apple spend time to put pieces in place, and build new technologies that go into it and make it better and viable, etc.

      Then Apple launches, with its own implementation, unlike anyone else’s; and it is actually a game-changer.

      That’s why it’s not cool when others take an idea — they copy down to its implementation. But it’s sunshine and roses when Apple *creates an implementation of an idea they stole* (just as any good artist steals ideas).

  3. ” A U.S. utility patent, explained above, is generally granted for 20 years from the date the patent application is filed; however, periodic fees are required to maintain the enforceability of the patent. A design patent is generally granted protection for 14 years measured from the date the design patent is granted.”

    From what I’ve seen companies usually try to make deals with patent holders unless there are issues, if so most often they will just bypass and use whatever and pay after they get sued. It usually evens out.

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