Apple's Trade Secret Battle With Masimo Over Pulse Oximetry Technology Ends in Mistrial

The latest legal dispute between Apple and pulse oximetry company Masimo today ended in a mistrial, reports Bloomberg. The jury overseeing the case was not able to come to a final decision in its deliberations, causing U.S. district judge James Selna to declare a mistrial.

apple watch ultra purple
Six jurors wanted to decide in favor of Apple, but one juror held strong for Masimo, leading to an impasse. Earlier this afternoon, the jurors sent the judge a note asking what to do because the juror voting in favor of Masimo would not change her position.

The judge initially planned to send the jurors home for the night with deliberations to continue on Tuesday, but after they insisted they would not be able to come to a consensus, he opted to call it.

Apple and Masimo have been in court over the last few weeks to determine whether Apple illegally poached Masimo employees and stole trade secrets when developing the Apple Watch. Masimo was seeking over $1.8 billion in damages and co-ownership of five Apple pulse oximetry patents that Masimo said used its technology.

Apple in July 2013 hired Chief Medical Officer Michael O'Reilly and then in 2014, it hired Cercacor Chief Technical Officer Marcelo Lamego (Cercacor is a Masimo spinoff company). Masimo claims that the two former employees inappropriately shared Masimo's intellectual property when they developed the Apple Watch, which Apple denies.

During the trial, Masimo attempted to demonstrate that Apple Watch development was floundering prior to the hiring of the two Masimo employees, pointing to a 2013 email where now-retired Apple executive Bob Mansfield called the Apple Watch "a mess" and said the sensor would "fail" on its "current path."

Apple maintained that no Masimo IP was used in its work on the Apple Watch, and further, that what Masimo claims are "trade secrets" are ideas "long known and used by multiple companies." Apple said that Masimo targeted it because Masimo saw the success of Apple Watch and wanted to make its own smart watch. Masimo did indeed come out with an Apple Watch-like wearable in late 2022 after decades of focus on large medical devices for healthcare.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said that it plans to ask the court to dismiss the trade secret allegations. For context, five of Masimo's claims against Apple were thrown out during the trial, reducing Masimo's self-calculated award.

"We thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case. We deeply respect intellectual property and innovation and do not take or use confidential information from other companies. We are pleased that the court correctly rejected half of the plaintiffs’ trade secret allegations, and will now ask the court to dismiss the remaining claims."

Masimo said that it plans to continue pursuing the trade theft case.

"While we are disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a verdict, we intend to retry the case and continue to pursue legal redress against Apple. As we begin that process, the United States Trade Commission is scheduled in the coming months to decide whether to ban the importation of certain models of the Apple Watch, following a ruling last year by an Administrative Law Judge that Apple infringed one of Masimo’s patents for pulse oximetry."

Masimo previously sued Apple for patent infringement, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ended up invalidating all but two of the patents. The United States International Trade Commission in January said that Apple had infringed on a Masimo patent, a case that is still ongoing.

Top Rated Comments

appleguy123 Avatar
11 months ago
A win for the lawyers on both sides
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
11 months ago

"We thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case. We deeply respect intellectual property and innovation and do not take or use confidential information from other companies...."

Rofl. This from a company built on theft....
do you not know the history of Android?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neutrino17 Avatar
11 months ago

Sounds like one juror might have some Apple stock... doesn't make sense when it's swayed that much.
The other way around. One juror was a hold-out against Apple.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
11 months ago
That's the Android user.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RalfTheDog Avatar
11 months ago
Let me tell you guys the truth about all of this. I have no idea who was right. With all respect to MacRumors, reading a few stories on the internet is not enough to form a valid opinion.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TechnoMonk Avatar
11 months ago

That's the Android user.
User wanted 16 GB base model. He wanted to punish apple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...