Biometric Sensor Company Valencell Accuses Apple of Stealing Technology for Apple Watch

Biometric sensor company Valencell today filed a lawsuit against Apple (via AppleInsider), accusing the Cupertino-based company of patent infringement, deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract, all related to dealings Apple had with Valencell before the launch of the Apple Watch.

According to Valencell, Apple expressed interest in its PerformTek heart rate sensor technology starting in 2013, leading Valencell to believe Apple would license PerformTek technology for the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor. Apple met with Valencell in 2013 and late 2014 to discuss incorporating PerformTek-powered features into the Apple Watch and is said to have expressed "great interest" in Valencell's wrist-based heart rate-sensing technology.

applewatch
Valencell demonstrated a prototype PerformTek-powered watch in 2013 to 15 Apple employees and later sent Apple PerformTek products to test and examine in detail. Valencell believes Apple deceptively solicited technical information and know-how under the false pretense of a licensing agreement despite having no intention to actually license the technology. Furthermore, Valencell accuses Apple of deciding it was more financially beneficial to risk infringing on Valencell's patents than to license them.

Apple did not have an intention of licensing Valencell's PerformTek Technology. Instead, Apple's interaction with Valencell was fueled by a business decision that the benefits of infringing upon Valencell's patented technology outweigh the risk of being caught and ultimately forced to pay damages. This practice is consistent with the statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple has "always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

Valencell believes the Apple Watch infringes on four of its patents, all related to heart rate sensing technology. Valencell is suing for patent infringement, the aforementioned deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract related to some Valencell white papers Apple employees downloaded from Valencell's website using fictitious names and data.

Valencell is requesting a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing future acts of infringement, along with damages and an ongoing reasonable royalty rate for licensing purposes should a permanent injunction not be granted. Valencell has also filed a similar lawsuit against Fitbit.

Top Rated Comments

rodpascoe Avatar
64 months ago

Clearly Apple stole their technology,. They have done this before with Xerox and countless other companies.
Now let Apple apologists, defend Apple

"clearly Apple stole their tech" You know this how? From a few paragraphs on this site?

Do you sit on either companies board? Have you torn down both devices and come to that conclusion?

I'm not as you suggest being an Apple apologist - I don't know any more than anyone else reading this post but how people jump to these guilty/not guilty conclusions whilst knowing zip amazes me.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
64 months ago

Clearly Apple stole their technology,. They have done this before with Xerox and countless other companies.
Now let Apple apologists, defend Apple

Xerox bought a million bucks in Apple stock at a discount prior to the Apple IPO. As part of that deal, Xerox management allowed SJ to use anything he saw at PARC.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
64 months ago

Clearly Apple stole their technology,. They have done this before with Xerox and countless other companies.
Now let Apple apologists, defend Apple

Found the Android user.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
64 months ago

Clearly Apple stole their technology,. They have done this before with Xerox and countless other companies.
Now let Apple apologists, defend Apple

Clearly??? No. It's merely an allegation.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
64 months ago

Then why not go after Fitbit and every other company that integrated heart rate monitors into wearables before the Apple Watch even existed?

They are going after Fitbit.

Valencell Files Patent Infringement Suit against Apple, Inc. and Fitbit, Inc. ('http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/valencell-files-patent-infringement-suit-against-apple-inc-and-fitbit-inc-300199025.html')
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
64 months ago

Clearly Apple stole their technology,. They have done this before with Xerox and countless other companies.
Now let Apple apologists, defend Apple

Apple clearly stole this...yet you know so little about the Xerox PARC deal that you think Apple stole that too? FYI, Apple traded stock for Xerox's stuff, they willingly handed it over, and many employees at Apple at the time were from Xerox PARC to begin with. I don't know why people like yourself always speak as if you know what you're talking about then follow it up with "now defend that, apologists". You're flat out wrong, people are pointing it out, it might seem like defensiveness to you...because you're likely wrong all of the time considering the "facts" you just presented.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
MacBooks black friday

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Mac and MacBook Deals

Thursday November 26, 2020 8:29 pm PST by
For Black Friday 2020, many retailers have solid deals on a variety of Macs. Apple's new M1 Macs are ones everyone wants right now, but because they're so new, deals on them are fairly sparse, although we are seeing some modest discounts. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Apple Black Friday 2020: Our Top Picks

Friday November 27, 2020 6:16 am PST by
Black Friday shopping has officially kicked off across the United States, and we've been collecting the best deals for Apple's iPads, Macs, AirPods, the HomePod, Apple Watch, and more in separate articles. In order to further streamline your Black Friday shopping this year, we've put together this quick list of our top picks of the overall best Apple-related bargains happening today. Note:...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...