Apple Sues Medical Technology Company Masimo for ‘Copying’ Apple Watch: Report
Apple on Thursday filed two lawsuits against medical monitoring technology company Masimo in the Delaware federal court, alleging that the latter’s new “W1” line of smartwatches infringes several Apple Watch patents — reports Reuters.
According to Apple, Masimo’s smartwatches violate ten of the tech giant’s patents. Six of these have to do with smartwatches and health monitoring technology, while four cover design elements of Apple Watches and chargers.
Apple also accused Masimo of trying to get the Apple Watch pulled from the U.S. market via litigation in ongoing intellectual property cases between the two companies to “make way for Masimo’s own watch.”
The Apple Watch maker claims Masimo “carefully studied Apple’s IP” at court, under the guise of litigation, and relayed proprietary Apple Watch information to a spinoff company.
Masimo, which specializes in health monitoring technology for medical patients, said in a statement that the lawsuits are “retaliatory” and “appear to be an attempt to avoid the court in which the parties have been litigating their dispute for the past three years.”
The Irvine, California-based company filed complaints against Apple in the California federal court and with the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The former complaint blames Apple for stealing trade secrets, while the latter seeks to block Apple Watch imports for infringing Masimo’s patent rights. Both cases are still being litigated.
Masimo said it met with Apple back in 2013 to discuss integrating its technology into Apple products. The company claimed that Apple later poached several of its employees, infringed patents, and stole trade secrets pertaining to the use of light sensors to measure biomarkers — the kind the Apple Watch uses to calculate the wearer’s heart rate.
Apple pointed out in its new lawsuits that Masimo has “never been in the consumer wearables business,” arguing that the company mimicked its technology to create the W1 smartwatch line it launched earlier this year.
“Masimo, while trying to block importation or sale of Apple Watch, was also secretly copying it,” Apple asserted.
“By launching a device that copies Apple Watch and infringes our intellectual property, Masimo attempted to take advantage of our teams’ many innovations,” the Cupertino, California-based company said in a statement.