Apple Sued a Second Time by Masimo for Infringing Patents relating to PPG sensors and Apple's latest Blood Oxygen Feature
Back in January 2020 Patently Apple posted a Patently Legal report titled "Apple was sued this week for Patent Infringement by Medical Device Pioneers over key Apple Watch Technologies." The report covered Masimo and Cercacor, a company that spun off from Masimo, suing Apple for reportedly infringing 10 of their patents in their 15 count lawsuit.
The report described a dramatic case wherein Apple reportedly had met with Masimo and was interested in a deal to incorporate their advanced technology associated with what became the PPG sensors on the backside of the Apple Watch. Yet once Apple met with Marcelo Lamego the Chief Technical Officer and Research Scientist of Cercacor and Michael O’Reilly, its Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, they poached the two employees in order to cut Masimo and Cercacor out of any deal and royalties.
Masimo noted in their lawsuit that "Most of the parameters are measured using light that is transmitted through the body tissue. The received light, that has been attenuated by the various components of the body tissue, including the blood, is known in the industry as a photoplethysmograph or "PPG."
Today, Bloomberg's Susan Decker reports that according to a second lawsuit filed by Masimo late Monday, Apple is now attempting to delay a legal fight over allegedly stolen blood-oxygen monitoring technology in its latest watch so it can gain a more dominant share of the smartwatch market.
Bloomberg further noted that "Apple hasn’t formally responded to the allegations. Instead, it has filed requests to dismiss the trade-secret part of the case and earlier this month lodged petitions to have Masimo patents invalidated at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple wants the trial court in Santa Ana, California, to keep the civil suit on hold until those issues are resolved.
Masimo further stated in their new lawsuit that 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.
Masimo said it sells a variety of monitors and fears Apple will use its power to stifle competition. More importantly, Masimo's CEO Joe Kiani stated that "I have seen reports from consumers and others suggesting that the Series 6 be used as a medical product. Not only will that harm consumers themselves, it will also reduce our opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers."
District Judge James Selna has set a series of dates that would mean the first hearing on how to interpret key terms of the patents will be held in April, unless he puts the case on hold before then. For more, read the full Bloomberg report here.