Back in January of last year, it was reported that Masimo, a health care technology company, was suing Apple. According to the company, Apple was stealing trade secrets related to health monitoring features baked into the Apple Watch. The health tech company has been arguing for over a year that Apple has done anything and everything it can to delay the legal proceedings in an effort to earn more Apple Watch sales. And now things are ramping up again.
As first reported today by Bloomberg, Masimo Corporation has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in the United States looking to get an import ban slapped against Apple and the Apple Watch Series 6. As it stands right now, the filing is being reviewed by the ITC.
Masimo has been taking issue with Apple for quite some time. As we reported in early 2020, Masimo argued at the time that, dating back to 2013, Apple had seem interested in partnering with Masimo for health-related features in the smartwatch lineup. However, Apple didn’t follow through with that plan and Masimo says Apple utilized Masimo’s inventions to launch health monitoring features for the Apple Watch lineup.
Here’s what the original report says will happen next, now that Masimo has filed for an import ban:
The patents in that 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.
On top of the whole trade secret theft situation, Apple is on record for hiring more than one Masimo employee to work on health-related ideas at Apple. It’s through these hires, at least in part, that the Masimo CEO Joe Kiani says Apple was able to access a copious amount of company secrets.
Masimo is a medical technology company which designs pulse oximetry devices, among other things.
In September of last year, Masimo argued that Apple was “abusing its power” in an effort to delay court proceedings, all while trying to maximize the sales of its smartwatch lineup. Which, as you’ve probably noticed over the years, has doubled down on health-related tracking and monitoring features.