The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court decision on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the dual-camera configuration of certain iPhone models infringed on existing patents.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in 2018 and was directed at both Apple and Samsung. It named the plaintiffs Yanbin Yu and Zhongxuan Zhang, who alleged that Apple’s dual-camera iPhone solution infringed on an invention they developed in 1999.
Ultimately, the District Court dismissed the case for failing to file a claim. More specifically, it found that the claims in the patent in demand were directed at an abstract idea. Therefore, the court ruled that the patent applications were invalid.
Yu, one of the plaintiffs in the case, appealed the decision, leading to the Federal Circuit ruling on Friday.
The Federal Circuit agreed with the district court’s decision that the claim in the patent at stake is directed at an abstract idea. It also found that there was no “inventive concept” in the claim that conferred patent eligibility.
Yu, on appeal, argued that the district court erred during the pleading stage by making certain adverse factual determinations and by not accepting some allegations in the complaint. The Federal Circuit called the arguments “out of place.”
“We have considered Yu’s remaining arguments and find them unconvincing. In light of the above, the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is affirmed,” the judges in the case wrote.
The patent contains claims detailing a system that uses two closely spaced cameras. The system would then use the dual cameras to capture “intensity images”, one of which would be used to enhance the other.
Apple introduced its own patent covering a multi-camera sensor in 2008, titled “Electronic Device with Two Image Sensors”.