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Masimo, a medical technology company, is set to bring its patent infringement claims against Apple to the US District Court for the Central District of California in a 10-day trial that started on Tuesday. The lawsuit claims that Apple has violated patents related to blood oxygen sensing technology in its Apple Watch SE and Series 4 to 7.
Masimo won a similar case before the International Trade Commission, and this trial could cost Apple up to $1 billion based on estimates of sales of specific Apple Watch versions and sensor module pricing. Notably, both parties have agreed to postpone presenting evidence specifically regarding reasonable royalty payments.
Apple’s pre-trial brief claims that Masimo’s technology was never used in the design, development, or marketing of the Apple Watch, and that the lawsuit is an attempt to clear the way for Masimo’s smartwatch.
The trial may call Tim Cook to testify, and Apple’s pre-trial brief argues that neither Michael O’Reilly, Masimo’s former chief medical officer, nor Marcelo Lamego, its former research officer, did anything wrong at Apple. The filing also claims that Masimo is attempting to “besmirch their reputations”.
This case is separate from a similar case brought by AliveCor, where the ITC says that sales of the Apple Watch should be banned due to patent infringement. It is also distinct from the “retaliatory” lawsuits brought by Apple against Masimo in October 2022.
The case highlights the increasing importance of health features in wearable devices such as smartwatches. As the market for wearable technology grows, patent disputes between companies may become more frequent. The outcome of this trial could have significant implications for the future of wearable technology and intellectual property rights.
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