Masimo’s battle with Apple heats up with regards to the PPG sensor on the Apple Watch

Tim Cook

The judge at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has agreed to Masimo Corp.’s plea against Apple Inc. 

Masimo had requested to search certain emails of Apple CEO Tim Cook. 

The court overruled its prior decision to decline the plaintiff’s discovery bid alleging the Apple Watch had used the company’s trade secrets and patent-protected technology. 

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The federal magistrate judge Wednesday granted Masimo Corp’s bid to search certain emails of Tim Cook, reversing a previous decision to deny the medical device maker’s discovery bid in its suit alleging the Apple Watch used the company’s trade secrets and patent-protected technology.

Many of the filings in the suit include redactions, and U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Early’s Wednesday order says that the reasons he changed his ruling were stated into the record at a hearing last week. Public access to the transcript of that hearing is currently restricted.

Judge John remarked that Masimo “substantively have met their burden for the relief sought that was initially denied,” and ordered Apple to search Cook’s email for references to Masimo and its technology and turn over anything relevant by Oct. 27.

In early 2013, Masimo and Apple talked about potentially collaborating on photoplethysmograph, or PPG, technology, which can track heart rate, blood oxygen levels and other health indicators by measuring how light passes through body tissue.

However, Masimo said, “after what seemed to Masimo to have been productive meetings, Apple quickly began trying to hire Masimo employees, including engineers and key management.”

Apple lured away Masimo’s chief medical officer, Michael O’Reilly, in July 2013, Masimo said.

Masimo alleges that the Apple Watch Series 4, launched in 2018, and the Series 5, launched in 2019, both contain Masimo’s protected technologies.

Source: Law360

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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