Court rules Apple can’t avoid Apple Watch heart rate sensor patent lawsuit

There are a lot of features in the Apple Watch. Some of them stand out more than others, like the heart rate sensor. Indeed, it’s one of the biggest elements of the Apple Watch, a major selling point for Apple’s wearable. There’s at least one company out there that’s not such a fan of Apple’s implementation, though.

Back in 2018, Apple was sued by a company called Omni MedSci. They alleged at the time that Apple had used its patented technology to implement the heart rate sensor within the Apple Watch. Indeed, Apple reportedly met with Omni MedSci between 2014 and 2016. The goal? A partnership between the two companies.

According to Omni MedSci, Apple ended those conversations with a potential partnership dissolving. Instead, the company alleges Apple used patented technology from four different patents.

And now we’re caught up, bringing us to¬†Reuters report today. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled recently that Apple can’t avoid the lawsuit put against it by Omni MedSci.

Per the report:

Apple Inc lost its bid to escape patent infringement claims over its Apple Watch technology brought by a University of Michigan professor’s biomedical laser company at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday.

The employment agreement between professor Mohammed Islam and the university didn’t automatically assign his patents to it, and Apple couldn’t escape the case based on a lack of standing by his company Omni MedSci Inc, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Linn said for a divided three-judge panel.

Mohammed Islam is the owner of Omni MedSci. Islam is also employed by the University of Michigan. Apple says that the patents in question are actually owned by the university, not Islam. Which is why the company was aiming to get the lawsuit dismissed. However, that did not pan out, with the court ruling that Islam’s employment at the university does not automatically assign those patents to the educational outfit.

So, Apple will have to face the lawsuit moving forward.