Lawsuit alleges Apple biometrics infringe patents, claims against Amazon sent to arbitration

Lawsuit alleges Apple biometrics infringe patents, claims against Amazon sent to arbitration

Apple is being sued in a patent dispute by Gesture Technology Partners for allegedly violating five patents related to mobile phone cameras with its Face ID biometrics, according to a report by AppleInsider.

The suit has been filed in the Western District of Texas, which has been identified as the newly-favored jurisdiction for non-practicing entities (or ‘patent trolls’) by industry organization Patent Progress.

Gesture Technology has also filed suits against Samsung, Huawei, LG and Lenovo, a Google search reveals, each of which also manufacture mobile phones with native face biometrics. The company’s founder, Dr. Timothy Pryor, holds five patents in the U.S., which he says are violated by Apple’s Smart HDR, picture facial recognition, optical image stabilization and other features. The patents cover ‘Camera Based Interaction and Instruction’ and ‘Camera Based Sensing in Handheld, Mobile, Gaming, or Other Devices,’ among other inventions.

Apple previously had a working relationship with Dr. Pryor, according to the filing, purchasing a ‘multi-touch’ patent portfolio from him in 2010. Dr. Pryor claims to have approached the company about licensing the patents in question, and corresponded with it, but says the company took no steps to avoid infringing the patents anyway.

Two-thirds of potential biometric data privacy class action against Amazon sent to arbitration

A federal judge in Illinois has sided with Amazon in sending two biometric privacy lawsuits to arbitration, Law360 writes, but a decision in a third case involving a minor is still pending.

The claims under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) allege that the plaintiffs’ voice biometric data was collected and processed by Amazon’s Alexa service without meeting the Act’s informed consent requirements.

U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama sided with Amazon that the plaintiffs had in fact consented to the company’s terms of use, which have included binding arbitration conditions and class action wavers since 2011. Their purchases of goods from the online retailer represent consent, as a notice to that effect is provided during the purchase process.

Valderrama says he requires more information before determining if the same judgement applies to the daughter of one of the two plaintiffs now facing arbitration. That matter is a question of state law on equity, not contracts, according to the judge.

Amazon had asked for the claims to be dismissed or sent to arbitration.

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