After Apple faced lawsuits for slowing down its iPhones last, OnePlus may now be sued for patent infringement. A recent report alleges that OnePlus’ face unlock feature infringed on patents by SensibleVision, a company specializing in facial recognition and biometric authentication technology. A formal lawsuit is yet to be filed. Also Read - OnePlus RT or 9RT: Which is the next OnePlus launching in India?Also Read - Oppo ColorOS 12 review: A colourful update coming to your nearest OnePlus device
According to a report by MySmartPrice (via Android Central), SensibleVision CEO George Brostoff, claims that Face Unlock infringed on at least one of the company’s patents, specifically its illumination patent. He says, We have not licensed our patents to OnePlus or their supplier. From the video on Forbes, they are likely infringing at the very least on our illumination patent. Also Read - Better late than never, OnePlus 9RT India launch date could have just been confirmed
Brostoff goes on to say that OnePlus isn’t the first company that infringed on the illumination patent. Apparently, SensibleVision notified “several companies” over the years about the patent. In the case of OnePlus, Brostoff said the company’s legal firm is looking into the issue.
Essentially, the illumination patent in question deals with using the display as a source of illumination for the camera. A camera is used for providing images to the facial recognition software where the display operates in a first mode for displaying images to a user and in a second mode for illuminating the user’s face for detection by the camera. Which means, any device that uses a camera for biometric authentication and has a screen that can be used a light source infringes on SensibleVision’s patent, as is the claim.
With the launch of OnePlus 5T, the company added a new biometric authentication method to the smartphone with the new Face Unlock feature. The authentication system on the smartphone relies on the front 16-megapixel camera and clever software tweaks. The feature uses over 100 identifiers, such as the distance between your eyes or between your nose and upper lip, to uniquely identify a user s face, and unlock the smartphone. We have reached out to OnePlus for a comment on patent infringement, and will update the post as soon as we hear from the company.