Masimo, the California-based patient-monitoring technology manufacturer, has brought patent infringement proceedings against Apple in the US District Court, claiming that the multinational’s Apple Watch infringes upon ten of its patents. Further, Masimo alleges that Apple stole its trade secrets following a series of meetings between the two companies.
The acrimony stems from 2013 when, Masimo claims, Apple approached it with the possibility of working together with Masimo on the then-unreleased Apple Watch, with Apple taking, it is alleged, particular interest in technology developed by Masimo, whereby a person’s blood oxygen levels and pulse could be monitored using light emitted from a device onto that person’s skin.
While no formal collaboration resulted from the 2013 meetings, Apple began, in 2014, employing former key figures from Masimo, including its former Chief Medical Officer and Executive VP for Medical Affairs, Michael O’Reilly. Apple subsequently launched its first-generation Apple Watch in 2015. Masimo claims that this meant that Apple acquired certain trade secrets and other confidential matters from Masimo, subsequently incorporating into its Apple Watch non-invasive, light-employing tech based upon Masimo’s patents, for the purpose of monitoring, amongst other things, users’ heart rates.
According to the lawsuit, Masimo is demanding that Apple stops using the contested technology, currently employed in Apple Watch 4 and 5, immediately, pay substantial damages to Masimo, and return to Masimo all confidential information.
Apple has yet to respond.