Core Wireless Licensing has been keeping busy since failing to convince a jury that the Wi-Fi support in the iPhone and iPad constitutes a violation of its intellectual proprietary earlier this year. A patent filing submitted the month after the verdict and published a few days ago reveals it’s moving down the checklist to another key component of mobile devices: the camera.
The application seeks the rights for the use of external mechanisms in changing capture settings, an incredibly vague claim that encompasses everything from taking a close-up to zooming back out along with most of the ways to implement that functionality. That includes filters, add-on lenses and even the specialized revolvers that are available for some phones to allow rapid switching.
In other words, practically any manufacturer to have ever used more than a single lens in a mobile camera will become a potential target for the outfit if and when the patent will be granted, which is much more likely than not given its long track record of approvals. As the world’s most valuable company and the most frequent subject of such litigation, Apple will no doubt be the first in its sights.
But there’s another reason behind that special focus on the iPhone maker that merits closer attention. Many of the patents in Core Wireless Licensing’s arsenal originally belonged to Nokia, which already licensed a large portion to Microsoft prior to their merger. As a result, the software giant has rights to about two thirds of the proceedings from the intellectual property outfit’s legal activities as of 2011.