Apple Faces Patent Lawsuit Over IPhone Security Features

In early August, a company known as Altpass filed a patent infringement complaint against Apple in a federal court in Texas. Altpass holds two patents that were issued to an individual before being transferred through various patent holdings firms. Altpass acquired the patents last year, but the applications for them were filed in 2006 and 2010. The patents cover a method of creating a digital signature and storing it for user authentication in unlocking an electronic device.

Altpass argues that security features of the Apple iPhone infringe on these patents. According to the lawsuit, the patented method involves creating and storing passcodes and passwords, as well as Face ID technology and other ways to unlock devices. The patent claims describe the creation of a signature through signals from keyboards, cameras, or other input mechanisms, which are recorded and stored for reference. The patent claims also describe matching a signature with later user input to authenticate the user. Among other evidence supporting its infringement lawsuit, Altpass notes the instructions for creating or changing a passcode in the guide for iOS 14 that Apple provides to iPhone users.

Altpass filed similar patent infringement cases against Google and Panasonic earlier this year. It also filed lawsuits related to the same patents against other companies in 2020. Altpass is based in Texas and filed its lawsuit in a court that has a history of siding with patent owners. The company is pursuing monetary damages for infringement.

Read the complaint for this lawsuit at Justia.

Photo Credit:  Viktoriya Fivko /