Dodgy Apple Facing Another Technology Stealing Claim
Another day, and another court case for Apple with the big US tech giant again accused of stealing patented technology without payment, this time with their new Apple Watch Series 6.
Masimo Corporation has filed a new patent-infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that seeks to halt imports of the Apple Watch Series 6 which Masimo claims infringes five patents for devices that use light transmitted through the body to measure oxygen levels in blood.
Last month a US federal jury in Texas directed Apple to pay about $411 million to Personalized Media Communications for infringing a patent associated with digital rights management.
In 2020 a US jury ruled that Apple had to pay US Company VirnetX $662 million in royalties for a VPN on Demand feature that lets iOS users access a VPN connection.
The two companies had been fighting each other for ten years.
The patent theft by Apple violated four patents relating to internet-based communications, which refers to the underlying technology behind Apple’s FaceTime and iMessage found in Apple products.
In the latest filing Masimo said in a complaint filed in the USA that patented technology is key to Masimo’s core business and Apple is unfairly copying the features, the company said.
Bloomberg reported that Masimo, develops signal-processing technology for health-care monitors, and its spinoff, Cercacor Laboratories.
The Company first sued Apple in January 2020, accusing it of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo inventions related to health monitoring in its Apple Watch.
The patents in the federal case are being reviewed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after Apple argued they didn’t cover new inventions.
The judge put that aspect of the case on hold until the reviews are completed.
Unlike a district court, the trade agency won’t delay consideration of the patent complaint and it typically completes investigations in 15-18 months.
Conversely, if Apple decides to challenge these patents as well, the patent office is likely to decline any request for a review because the ITC works so quickly.
Observers claim that in this case Apple who has billions in the bank will throw the towel in and settle a move that could net Masimo between $50 million and $300 million a year in royalties.
Like in every case they have lost Apple denies that it stole any trade secrets or infringed the patents.
As part of its ITC complaint, Masimo said the public won’t be harmed if the Apple smartwatch is kept from the U.S. market because the pulse oximetry feature is “not essential to the public health or welfare.”
“Apple heavily markets that feature of the Series 6 to give the watch the appearance of a medical device,” Masimo said in the filing.
“Yet, hidden from the millions of purchasers of the Series 6, Apple warns in the fine print that the blood oxygen measurements should not be relied upon for medical purposes.”