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Apple and Samsung each sued over alleged smartphone biometrics infringements


Apple and Samsung are both facing lawsuits alleging patent infringements related to smartphone biometrics.

Korean mobile technology company FirstFace has filed suit again Apple, claiming that Touch ID infringes on patents co-CEO Jung Jae-lark holds in Korea, Japan, and the U.S. for smartphone unlocking with a fingerprint sensor under a home button, The Investor reports.

Jung has held the patents since 2011, and FirstFace’s other co-CEO Shim Young-tack told local news outlet FN News that he and Jung are working with a U.S. patent lawyer. They approached Apple to propose a licensing deal, but the company rejected the offer.

“The solution that activates the smartphone screen upon authenticating a user’s fingerprint was something unprecedented before Jung’s invention,” Shim said.

Samsung is being sued in Texas Eastern District Court by U.S. data security company PACid for infringing its patents related to how the operating system works with Samsung PASS and Samsung KNOX to verify users with fingerprint, iris, or face recognition, according to The Korea Herald.

Biometric technologies were adopted in the sixth generation Samsung Galaxy S, and have been integrated in the company’s smartphones since. Potential damages in the suit were reported to be up to 3 trillion won (roughly US$2.8 billion), based on sales volumes and the possibility that Samsung might have knowingly infringed the patents, which could lead to the amount being tripled.

A Samsung official declined to comment, saying the company had just learned of the suit and it was too early to estimate a damages amount.

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