Medical tech company sues Apple for allegedly stealing patents for Watch

Ruben Fields
January 13, 2020

Recently, the company and it's subsidiary Cercacor Laboratories have claimed in a lawsuit that Apple stole secret trademark information.

Masimo, which sells more pulse detectors to hospitals than any other company, claims Apple invited the company to meet for a potential collaboration in 2013.

The patents Masimo and Cercacor accuse Apple of improperly using cover various methods related to light-based heart and blood oxygen monitoring. They have accused Apple of stealing its non-invasive monitoring system, which operated with light.

Apple has been accused of stealing trade secrets and poaching key staff, after being slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit.

For those unaware, Masimo Corp develops signal process technology, primarily used in health-related monitors.

The companies are seeking orders that would block further use of their patented inventions in the Apple Watch 4 and 5, return of confidential information and unspecified damages. Masimo also believes that the "Apple Watch" is infringing 10 Masimo patents. Apple said it wanted "to understand more about Masimo's technology to potentially integrate that technology into Apple's products", Masimo said. The company then just hired away Masimo's chief medical officer, Cercacor's chief technology officer and other employees.

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To make matters worse, a year later Apple also hired Marcelo Lamego, who was Cercacor's chief technology officer and a former Masimo scientist.

Apple knew it was getting confidential information from the two men, the companies allege in their lawsuit.

For now, there is no official announcement or statements have been made by Apple regarding this accusation. Given how these health features, including the newer AFib detection, have been at the heart of the Apple Watch's success, the wearable could be dealt a fatal blow if Apple loses these cases.

Masimo says Apple received confidential information from its hires, and launched a targeted effort to obtain "information and expertise". Masimo and Cerecor have also asked the court for rights to seven patents and patent applications that were issued to Lamego after he was hired by Apple.

Apple has also been accused of incorporating someone else's patented invention into their watch without paying for it.

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