Australian patent troll goes after Apple for Face ID and Touch ID

An Australian patent troll is claiming that Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID systems – especially when used with Apple Pay – infringe on three of its patents…

Patently Apple reports:

Australia’s CPC Patent Technologies Pty Ltd. has sued Apple for patent infringement. The company claims that iPhones and iPads equipped with Face or Touch ID infringe upon three of their patents.

All three patents were “acquired” from Securicom for the purpose of suing Apple, which makes CPC Patent Technologies a Patent Troll or nonpracticing entity or nonproducing entity (NPE).

Their filing with the court states that “The products accused of infringing their patents 9,269,208 and’ 9,665,705 include iPhones and iPads equipped with Touch or Face ID (“the Secure Access Accused Products”). The products accused of infringing their 8,620,039 Patent include the Secure Access Accused Products equipped with Apple Card loaded into the iPhone Wallet (“the Secure Pay Accused Products”).

It will come as no surprise at all to learn that all three patents are incredibly general, effectively claiming to own the very concept of biometric authentication. Here’s the summary of each:

“A system is disclosed for providing secure access to a controlled item, the system comprising a database of biometric signatures, a transmitter subsystem comprising a biometric sensor for receiving a biometric signal, means for matching the biometric signal against members of the database of biometric signatures to thereby output an accessibility attribute, and means for emitting a secure access signal conveying information dependent upon said accessibility attribute, wherein the secure access signal comprises one of at least a rolling code, an encrypted Bluetooth.TM. protocol, and a WiFi.TM. protocol, and a receiver sub-system comprising means for receiving the transmitted secure access signal and means for providing conditional access to the controlled item dependent upon said information.”

“The disclosed Biometric Card Pointer arrangements store (207) a card user’s biometric signature in a local memory (124) in a verification station (127) the first time the card user uses the verification station (127) in question. The biometric signature is stored at a memory address (607) defined by the card information (605) on the user’s card (601). All future uses of the particular verification station (127) by someone submitting the aforementioned card (601) requires the card user to submit both the card and a biometric signature, which is verified against the signature stored at the memory address defined by the card information (605) thereby determining if the person submitting the card is authorized to do so.”

“A system is disclosed for providing secure access to a controlled item, the system comprising a database of biometric signatures, a transmitter subsystem comprising a biometric sensor for receiving a biometric signal, means for matching the biometric signal against members of the database of biometric signatures to thereby output an accessibility attribute, and means for emitting a secure access signal conveying information dependent upon said accessibility attribute, wherein the secure access signal comprises one of at least a rolling code, an encrypted Bluetooth.TM. protocol, and a WiFi.TM. protocol, and a receiver sub-system comprising means for receiving the transmitted secure access signal and means for providing conditional access to the controlled item dependent upon said information.”

Apple is one of the top targets of patent trolls, with companies hoping that Apple might settle to make them go away, or that a court might award them enough money to make the operation worthwhile despite any lack of merit in their case.

Photo by The Average Tech Guy on Unsplash

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:


You can follow iPhoneFirmware.com on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google+ or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.