Apple Can't Escape Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Patent Lawsuit, Court Rules

Apple must face a patent infringement lawsuit over the heart rate technology in the Apple Watch, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled today.

applewatchheartrate2
Back in 2018, Apple was sued by Omni MedSci, with the company alleging that Apple used its patented technology in the Apple Watch. Apple reportedly met with Omni MedSci between 2014 to 2016 to discuss a possible partnership, but Apple is said to have ended discussions and used technology from four Omni patents anyway.

According to Reuters, Apple attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Omni MedSci is owned by Mohammed Islam, who has been described as a "poster child for a patenting professional." He owns six companies and has collected more than 150 patents. In the past, he has used those patents to sue companies that include Fujitsu, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Nokia, and Siemens.

Islam is employed by the University of Michigan, and Apple's argument for dismissal was that his patents were owned by the university, which the University of Michigan supported on behalf of Apple. The appeals court decided that was not the case, and that Islam's employment agreement did not automatically assign his patents to the university.

Omni MedSci has claimed that Apple willfully infringed on its patents. The company is seeking an injunction to stop the sale of the Apple Watch, along with damages. Omni MedSci's attorney told Reuters that the company is "pleased by not surprised" by the ruling.

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Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
38 months ago

If you patent it, you own that patent. Apple stealing patents is unethical. Lobbying isn’t the issue, it’s that they blatantly stole the technology. I’d like to read the entire court hearing, does anyone have a link?
Nobody has accused apple of stealing the technology. They are accused of infringing a patent, that they didn’t know about, and which may or may not be valid and may or may not be enforceable. And if it’s invalid and enforceable, the burden is still on the patent owner to show that it has been infringed. Apple wins most of the patent lawsuits against it (the ones that go to trial), so assuming that Apple infringes, at this early stage, is a bit cart before the horse.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeeW Avatar
38 months ago
I mean there are those that will sue Apple for infringement of patents they bought, Apple sues others for infringement of patents they bought. Let's not make saints out of any sinners here.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poked Avatar
38 months ago
If you patent it, you own that patent. Apple stealing patents is unethical. Lobbying isn’t the issue, it’s that they blatantly stole the technology. I’d like to read the entire court hearing, does anyone have a link?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
38 months ago

If you patent it, you own that patent. Apple stealing patents is unethical. Lobbying isn’t the issue, it’s that they blatantly stole the technology. I’d like to read the entire court hearing, does anyone have a link?
Yes, but you will always find people here defending Apple for unethical practices like this. Anyone who ever sues Apple is deemed a ”patent troll”, like that Brazilian company that was in operation before Steve Jobs was even in middle school and registered/marketed iPhone before such a thing existed in the US, they were not spared the fury of the blind fandom.

Apple, just pay the money. I find ridiculous that they charge companies for using their Lighting Connector based on a 20+ year old technology but do not want to pay for the use of 5G technology and sensors they benefit from, need, and do not own.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
38 months ago

Except the patent was put into the technology. And the title states Apple lost the patent lawsuit appeal, which means they have to continue the evidence portion of proving they DIDNT steal the tech outlined explicitly by the patent that IS BEING USED currently (allegedly) or infringing upon the patent created. Apples to Apples, in this case.
Is my technicality alright to you now? :p
No, that’s not how it works. They lost the appeal on the issue of who owns the patent. The accused infringer NEVER has to prove they DON’T infringe. The burden of proof is always on the owner of the patent.

And patent infringement is not “stealing.”
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
38 months ago

Cracks me up when these companies seek an injunction to stop the sale…oh really so Apple is going to just stop selling the watch altogether? Gtfo
If the injunction were to be granted then yes, they would stop selling the watch. Such injunctions are rare, because the court must balance competing interests, and the party seeking the injunction has to show that they would otherwise suffer some sort of harm that could not be compensated for by a payment of money later on.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)