Almost five years after the release of iPhone 5s with Touch ID, the Korean company Firstface decided to sue Apple for infringement of one of its patents. The patent talks about unlocking the device by scanning a fingerprint.
Firstface patented this technology back in 2011, and its rights are valid in the United States, Japan and Korea. The head of the company, Shim Young, says that they tried to cooperate with Apple and find some kind of compromise, but she refused the offer.
“The idea of waking up a smartphone screen by scanning a fingerprint seemed like something unrealistic before Young's invention,” says Firstface co-founder, who is also a professor at New York National University's Korea branch.
The first iPhone with Touch ID was released in 2013, so the founders of Firstface were clearly in no hurry to sue. Many companies regularly sue Apple for infringement of all kinds of patents. It looks like Firstface is one of the companies that is just trying to get money out of Apple.
It's funny that the lawsuit appeared exactly when Apple was already ready to completely switch to the Face ID facial recognition system. It is not only faster, but also more reliable and convenient.
Judging by the content of the patent, Firstface could sue not only Apple, but all other companies that produce smartphones with fingerprint sensors.