Apple is allegedly infringing Tera Xtal’s sapphire lens patent, according to a patent lawsuit filed today in Taiwan by Tera Xtal. The sapphire crystal manufacturer alleges that Apple, Senao International, and Vibao sold products using Tera XTal’s TW M438642 patent without the company’s expressed authorization, reports LEDinside. The company is seeking a combined $9.88 million in damages from the three companies.
The TW M438642 patent relates to an image-capturing apparatus using sapphire as a protective lens material. Apple switched from plastic to sapphire to protect the rear camera with the iPhone 5, and last year it started using sapphire to protect the fingerprint sensor built into the iPhone 5s.
The Tera Xtal patent reads:
An image capturing apparatus is provided to use a sapphire as a protective lens material, thereby providing scratch prevention, abrasion resistance and impact prevention effects. CONSTITUTION: A sapphire lens is directly combined to a lens device through an adhesive material. The adhesive material is one of a glue and an adhesive. The sapphire lens includes a crystal structure and a crystal axis. The crystal structure is a single crystal structure. The glue is a high molecular glue. The sapphire lens is combined to a housing through the high molecular glue at a first temperature. The sapphire lens is heterogeneously combined with the housing at a second temperature.
It is worth noting here that just a few days ago reports surfaced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales are driving up Tera Xtal’s revenue: LEDinside has learned that the sapphire crystal company’s revenue for September increased by 38% compared to August, setting a new record.
As the lawsuit documents reveal, Tera Xtal is seeking $9.88 million in compensation at an annual interest rate of 5% and has also requested that the court prevent defendants from manufacturing, selling, and importing products that infringe its patent.