Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Patent infringement row brewing over facial recognition tech

New Jersey residents are most likely aware that the smartphone market is highly competitive and driven by innovation. Electronics companies tend to be fiercely protective of features that separate their products from those of their competitors, and intellectual property disputes are not uncommon when a new phone or device uses a feature that is suspiciously similar to one protected under the nation's patent laws.

The latest smartphones can be opened in a number of ways. Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 and many other popular models use highly secure fingerprint scanners to ensure that private data is kept secure, but the Chinese electronics manufacturer OnePlus chose instead to use a complex facial recognition system on its top-of-the-line 5T model. The OnePlus unlock feature uses the 5T's 16-megapixel camera and more than 100 identifiers to tell faces apart; the biometric authentication company SensibleVision claims that the technology used by the Chinese company infringes on one or more of its patents.

After watching a video of the 5T being unlocked, a senior SensibleVision executive said that OnePlus was likely infringing on a patent covering technology that uses the light emitted by cellphone screens to illuminate their cameras. According to SensibleVision, any device that uses a camera for biometric identification and has a screen that could be used as a light source infringes on their patent.

Attorneys with experience in this area know that intellectual property litigation can be complex, protracted and costly. Legal professionals may encourage the parties involved in patent, trademark or copyright disputes to resolve their differences amicably whenever possible. In situations where patents may have been infringed upon inadvertently, attorneys may suggest that infringers pay a royalty fee to use the technology in question. However, when protected intellectual property has been deliberately used without permission, attorneys might seek compensation for damages.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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