New year, old accusations against Apple: the actors change, but the juice of yet another judicial procedure towards the house of Cupertino does not vary. The giant led by Tim Cook was sued for being held responsible for having made the Watch, including the most recent Series 4 and Series 5, violating 10 patents. The case is raised by Masimo, a US company that has developed technologies for non-invasive monitoring of vital signs; Apple would have benefited unduly from using them in the design of its wearables.
Apple was sued in late 2019 for a patent infringement related to the Watch Series 4 and Series 5 atrial fibrillation function, but the lawsuit filed yesterday by the U.S. company at the California District Court has an extension wider: 10 patents against 1, and brings up the technology of the photoplethysmography (PPG) – used to detect vital signs, starting from the heart rate, analyzing the light projected on the skin and the light that is reflected back.
Masimo says he has improved the PPG hardware by making it more reliable and accurate, and has developed other non-invasive solutions to detect parameters such as the level of hemoglobin, carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin. In short, it is a company that has been working in the sector for years, not one patent troll came out of nowhere. It was active too in 2013, when Apple Watch had not yet been launched: at that time – reads the summons – theCupertino company contacted Masimo for a potential partnership relating to a new product.
Subsequently, according to the reconstruction of the facts provided by the actor, Apple started hiring staff previously employed at Masimo, and in 2014 he stopped any collaboration hypothesis by going ahead on his own. Among the requests addressed to the judge by Masimo there isinvestigation of the violation of trade secrets, i damage for theunauthorized use of patented technologies and lo stop selling Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 who use such solutions. For the moment Apple has not commented on the story, which will have to follow the usual judicial process (or extra-judicial, if an agreement is reached).