(CN) – The California Institute of Technology has sued to ban importation of cellphones with cameras that allegedly infringe on its patents.
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors were developed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of NASA’s effort to produce smaller, cheaper cameras for space exploration.
The technology combines light sensors and the circuitry to convert light to a digital image on the same chip. The most common alternative, the analog charged-coupled process, requires a separate chip to process an image.
In a complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission, Caltech says Nokia and Research in Motion use CMOS sensors manufactured by co-defendant STMicroelectronics.
The ITC will review the complaint and vote on whether to appoint an administrative law judge to begin an investigation.
Caltech is represented by Michael Shore, Joseph DePumpo, Jennifer Rynell, Timothy Wang and Daniel Olejko with Shore Chan Bragalone DePumpo of Dallas.