31 December 2019
The new year has just started and Apple has already found itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit. This new lawsuit has been filed by Masimo, a medical technology company. It is suing Apple for infringing 10 patents with the Apple Watch and also for stealing important trade secrets by hiring key employees.
Bloomberg reports that Masimo has accused Apple of stealing and using its technologies to offer Apple Watch health features like heart rate monitoring. It said that Apple obtained those trade secrets on the pretext of working with the company. Apple is said to have contacted the company in 2013 with the goal of collaboration.
The lawsuit reads,
"Apple contacted Masimo in 2013 and asked to meet for a potential collaboration, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Santa Ana, California. Apple said it wanted “to understand more about Masimo’s technology to potentially integrate that technology into Apple’s products.”
Masimo says that it was under the impression that meetings have been fruitful, Apple went ahead and started hiring its employees. Those workers include Chief Medical Officer at Masimo and Cheif Technology Officer at Cercacor (its spinoff company). It says such steps helped Apple offer Apple Health features like the ability to detect oxygen levels in blood using nothing but light emitters.
The lawsuit includes Apple's recent launches Watch Series 4 and Watch Series 5 as well. It has asked the court for Apple to pay for damages as well as add names of its engineers to four patents owned by Apple. We are yet to hear about Apple's take on the matter but going by the track record, they are likely to go ahead with the battle.