Apple sued for allegedly stealing Apple Watch heart monitoring tech

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A future Apple Watch might be able to alert you that you’re breathing poison.
Masimo Corp claims Apple Watch uses its trade secrets.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch’s incredible pulse-monitoring powers are at the center of Apple’s newest legal battle.

Masimo Corp., a healthcare company that manufactures pulse monitor technology, filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the iPhone-maker stole trade secrets.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court on Thursday by Masimo and its spinoff, Cercacor. Apple is accused of using the companies’ technology to overcome some of the hurdles for measuring oxygen levels in the blood as well as heart rate via light emitters.

Apple vs. Masimo

Masimo, which sells more pulse detectors to hospitals than any other company, claims Apple invited the company to meet for a potential collaboration in 2013. According to Masimo, Apple said it wanted to understand more about its technology. The company then just hired away Masimo’s chief medical officer, Cercacor’s chief technology officer and other employees.

“Given what appeared to be a targeted effort to obtain information and expertise from Masimo and Cercacor, Masimo and Cercacor warned Apple about respecting their rights,” said the companies in the complaint obtained by Bloomberg

Along with seeking damages, Masimo and Cercacor want the court to add their engineers to four of Apple’s patents. If successful, Masimo would be joint owners with Apple on four critical Apple Watch patents. Considering how long these legal battles typically wage on for, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple finds a different workaround or tries to license the technology from Masimo.