Pulse Ox Company Masimo Accuses Apple of Delaying Legal Battle to Sell More Apple Watches

Back in January, medical device company Masimo levied a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo inventions related to health monitoring in the Apple Watch.

apple watch series 6 blood oxygen monitoring 1
Masimo is known for its pulse oximetry devices, and Apple just recently debuted the Apple Watch Series 6 with blood oxygen monitoring capabilities. Following the launch of the Series 6, Masimo has accused Apple of attempting to delay the legal proceedings in order to sell more watches and gain a more dominant share of the smart watch market.

As highlighted by Bloomberg, Apple has not officially responded to the original January lawsuit, instead filing requests to dismiss the trade secret part of the case and to have Masimo patents invalidated. Apple has asked the trial court to put the case on hold until the patent issue is resolved, which could take a significant amount of time.

Apple told the court that delaying the case until a patent review will narrow the issues and "reduce wasted resources." With no hold, the first hearing on the case will take place in April 2021.

According to Masimo, the potential postponement would allow Apple to "seize on a critical window of opportunity to capture an emerging field," using its "considerable resources and ecosystem" to capture market share with no regard for Masimo patent technology.

Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said in the filing that Masimo believes Apple's customers see the Series 6 as a "medical product," which can "harm consumers" and "reduce [Masimo's] opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers."

Masimo accused Apple of stealing secret information by pretending to have a working relationship with Masimo and then poaching Masimo employees. Masimo also believes that Apple is infringing on 10 Masimo patents, and says that Apple relied on Masimo technology when developing the light-based heart rate sensor used in the Apple Watch.

Apple allegedly contacted Masimo in 2013, ahead of the launch of the original Apple Watch, and asked to meet for a potential collaboration. Apple was aiming to "understand more" about Masimo's products and was allegedly seeking to add Masimo technology to future Apple devices. Masimo said that the two companies had productive meetings, but then Apple began hiring important employees. Apple ultimately hired several Masimo employees including Michael O'Reilly, who had served as Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo. He has been working on Health Special Projects at Apple, and had a hand in the development of the Apple Watch.

Masimo in its original January lawsuit asked the court to block Apple from using Masimo's patented inventions and it asked the court for damages.

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Top Rated Comments

destroyer2012 Avatar
49 months ago
Well.. normally I hate frivolous suits against Apple but it definitely feels like thats pretty fishy. I'd be pissed if someone reached out to my company to collaborate, hired my best people, and then used their money to keep me from recourse.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hammerd Avatar
49 months ago
So this is what Apple is nowadays: a company that dries up smaller promising companies and that steal their IP, while wanting to be seen as a distuptive pro-environment pro-lgbt company that want to make the world a better place. This is just clowning of course, they just want everyone's money. They are even ready to kill companies that work with their platform (Tiles, fitness apps, music and movies/series streaming apps, banks... next what). That's pathetic that they act so agressively, they even sue companies that have a fruit shaped logo... and want to look like the good guys
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SpringKid Avatar
49 months ago

Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said in the filing that Masimo believes Apple's customers see the Series 6 as a "medical product," which can "harm consumers" and "reduce [Masimo's] opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers."
In what world does this make sense? ?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
49 months ago
Usually such behavior would be attributed to a scum bag company.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ukiyo Evenings Avatar
49 months ago

Apple is already crushing the wearables market. I dont understand the statement in this lawsuit. What percent of new users are getting the watch only because of O2 sensors? Mostly the company is concerned they join the long list of dedicated devices getting incorporated into a multifunction device.
It’s not about getting the watch exclusively for the oximeter, rather, the nullification of demand for devices as a result of having an Apple Watch that does the job. Although I hope people who do need pulse oximeters would actually get a certified medical device instead of the watch for keeping an eye on their SpO2.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peperino Avatar
49 months ago

Honestly, I don't care about the Trade Secrets up for debate here. From my perspective, Apple brought potentially life saving tech to the masses at an affordable price. Can we please stop worrying about profits with life saving products?

If the apple watch saves someone life because of this, its well worth it IMO.
Regardless what the product does, How is it OK for Apple to steal other companies' technology? iF they are interested they can license it or buy them. But stealing is not ok.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)