Masimo sues Apple for stealing patents to develop Apple Watch health features

nanoguy

TS Addict
Staff member

The Apple Watch is surprisingly good at detecting heart conditions, at least according to a Standford study conducted with 400,000 people with Series 3 or newer versions. And while they're not advertised as professional medical devices, a lot of people rely on them to track their health and fitness, and some can even thank their wrist angel for saving their lives when they pass out.

However, Apple is now in the crosshairs of Masimo, a medical company that alleges (per Bloomberg) the impressive capabilities of the Apple Watch stem from stolen trade secrets and infringing on no less than 10 patents.

Masimo and its spinoff company Cercacor Laboratories recently filed a lawsuit in federal court in Santa Ana, California, where they explain that Apple got a hold of sensitive information through a clever dance of partnership. According to the filing, the Cupertino giant reached out to Masimo in 2013 to ask for a meeting to talk about a potential collaboration.

At the time, Apple told the company that it wanted to get a better sense of its technology to see if it can be integrated into its products. And while nothing was set in stone, Masimo executives were under the impression the meetings were productive and conducive to healthy business growth.

However, Apple reportedly took another route and proceeded to poach several key executives with "unfettered" access to Masimo's trade secrets. Among the new hires was chief medical officer O'Reilly and chief technology officer Marcelo Lamego.

Masimo and Cercacor describe it as a "targeted effort to obtain information," and are seeking damages in addition to blocking Apple from using the patented technologies. Ironically, Apple last month sued its former chip design chief for using trade secrets to boost a new venture called Nuvia.

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