Apple accused of stealing blood-oxygen technology in Apple Watch by Masimo

Apple faces another lawsuit, this time by a medical-sensor manufacturer, Masimo. In a court filing submitted on Monday, the sensor maker accuses Apple of stealing its blood oxygen monitoring technology used in the new Apple Watch Series 6 and of hiring top officials at Masimo to develop the technology for it. Now, the iPhone maker is filing requests to get the case dismissed or delayed.

At the September 15 event, the company launched the latest Apple Watch Series 6 with the new blood-oxygen monitoring technology to allow users to check their oxygen level anywhere and anytime in just 10 seconds. The aforementioned technology pushes the smartwatch further as a health device which now offers blood-oxygen monitoring, EGC,  fall detection, sleep monitoring, calories, menstruation tracking, and other health-related features.

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Masimo Accuses Apple of Stealing Blood Oxygen Technology

Bloomberg reports that Masimo and its Cercacor Laboratories filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino tech giant in January, accusing it of maliciously stealing secret information under the pretext of a working relationship and later hiring its key officials like Masimo’s chief medical officers and Cercacor’s former chief technology officer.

In response, Apple has filed requests to dismiss the trade-secret clause of the case and lodged petitions to invalidate Masimo’s patents at the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, earlier in September. In addition, the iPhone maker also wants the trial court in California to keep the civil lawsuit on hold until the patent issues are resolved.

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Aggrieved Masimo claims that Apple is adopting delay tactics to sell more smartwatches with its technology and put the company’s medical devices at a disadvantage in the market. In the filing, the sensor maker said,

Postponing the case “would allow Apple to seize on a critical window of opportunity to capture an emerging field. Just as it has done in numerous other markets, Apple seeks to use its considerable resources and ecosystem to capture the market without regard” to Masimo’s patents.

I have seen reports from consumers and others suggesting that Series 6 be used as a medical product. Not only will that harm consumers themselves, but it will also reduce our opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers.”

Masimo also claims that Apple was not forthcoming in providing information on the uses of blood oxygen monitoring sensors in the Apple Watch Series 6 and dismissed the enquires by deeming them “Internet rumors” and claimed the two sides weren’t in competition”.

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This report comes at a time when the Cupertino tech giant is already in hot water over the App Store policies by developers and is accused of anti-competitive behavior by federal regulatory bodies in various parts of the world. If Masimo is able to prove its accusations, then it might a damaging blow to Apple’s reputation. The sensor maker is seeking a ban on Apple from using its technology and payment for damages in its January filing.

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