Lawsuit accuses Apple of infringing Masimo patents

Apple Watch Edition Series 5 with White Ceramic Case and Leather Loop
Apple Watch Edition Series 5 with White Ceramic Case and Leather Loop

Masimo Corp. has accused Apple of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo’s patented inventions related to health monitoring in Apple Watch.

Susan Decker and Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

Masimo, which develops signal processing technology for health-care monitors, and its spinoff, Cercacor Laboratories Inc., claim in a lawsuit that Apple got secret information under the guise of a working relationship and then hired away key employees, including Michael O’Reilly, who became vice president of Apple’s health technology efforts.

Masimo and Cercacor said their technology for non-invasive monitoring using light was key to Apple overcoming performance issues with its Watch. Among the 10 patents Apple is accused of infringing are ones covering ways to measure oxygen levels in blood, and heart rate using light emitters and detectors…

Apple contacted Masimo in 2013 and asked to meet for a potential collaboration… After what Masimo thought were productive meetings, Apple instead hired O’Reilly, who was then Masimo’s chief medical officer and was “privy to extremely sensitive information,” according to the suit. The next year, it hired Marcelo Lamego, who was Cercacor’s chief technology officer and a former Masimo scientist.

MacDailyNews Take: Masimo and Cercacor also are seeking to add their engineers to seven patents and patent applications that were issued to Lamego, Decker and Gurman report. That would make Masimo and Cercacor joint owners of those patents and patent applications that are currently assigned to Apple. Based on this very cursory overview, some may immediately see “settlement” as the outcome, but patent law is tricky, to say the least, so we’ll wait to hear more.

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