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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Back in January, medical device company Masimo levied a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo inventions related to health monitoring in the Apple Watch.


Masimo is known for its pulse oximetry devices, and Apple just recently debuted the Apple Watch Series 6 with blood oxygen monitoring capabilities. Following the launch of the Series 6, Masimo has accused Apple of attempting to delay the legal proceedings in order to sell more watches and gain a more dominant share of the smart watch market.

As highlighted by Bloomberg, Apple has not officially responded to the original January lawsuit, instead filing requests to dismiss the trade secret part of the case and to have Masimo patents invalidated. Apple has asked the trial court to put the case on hold until the patent issue is resolved, which could take a significant amount of time.

Apple told the court that delaying the case until a patent review will narrow the issues and "reduce wasted resources." With no hold, the first hearing on the case will take place in April 2021.

According to Masimo, the potential postponement would allow Apple to "seize on a critical window of opportunity to capture an emerging field," using its "considerable resources and ecosystem" to capture market share with no regard for Masimo patent technology.

Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said in the filing that Masimo believes Apple's customers see the Series 6 as a "medical product," which can "harm consumers" and "reduce [Masimo's] opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers."

Masimo accused Apple of stealing secret information by pretending to have a working relationship with Masimo and then poaching Masimo employees. Masimo also believes that Apple is infringing on 10 Masimo patents, and says that Apple relied on Masimo technology when developing the light-based heart rate sensor used in the Apple Watch.

Apple allegedly contacted Masimo in 2013, ahead of the launch of the original Apple Watch, and asked to meet for a potential collaboration. Apple was aiming to "understand more" about Masimo's products and was allegedly seeking to add Masimo technology to future Apple devices. Masimo said that the two companies had productive meetings, but then Apple began hiring important employees. Apple ultimately hired several Masimo employees including Michael O'Reilly, who had served as Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo. He has been working on Health Special Projects at Apple, and had a hand in the development of the Apple Watch.

Masimo in its original January lawsuit asked the court to block Apple from using Masimo's patented inventions and it asked the court for damages.

Article Link: Pulse Ox Company Masimo Accuses Apple of Delaying Legal Battle to Sell More Apple Watches


Jun 6, 2005
Apple is already crushing the wearables market. I dont understand the statement in this lawsuit. What percent of new users are getting the watch only because of O2 sensors? Mostly the company is concerned they join the long list of dedicated devices getting incorporated into a multifunction device.

Ukiyo Evenings

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2020
Apple is already crushing the wearables market. I dont understand the statement in this lawsuit. What percent of new users are getting the watch only because of O2 sensors? Mostly the company is concerned they join the long list of dedicated devices getting incorporated into a multifunction device.
It’s not about getting the watch exclusively for the oximeter, rather, the nullification of demand for devices as a result of having an Apple Watch that does the job. Although I hope people who do need pulse oximeters would actually get a certified medical device instead of the watch for keeping an eye on their SpO2.
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macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2020
Honestly, I don't care about the Trade Secrets up for debate here. From my perspective, Apple brought potentially life saving tech to the masses at an affordable price. Can we please stop worrying about profits with life saving products?

If the apple watch saves someone life because of this, its well worth it IMO.


Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
Twin Cities Minnesota
As a tech company they do license a ton of patents from various companies (look at your legal info on apple devices). Wonder if the technologies in question fall under someone else’s license or similar?

If Masimo is worried about Apple trying to sell these as Medical grade products, I think their logic is flawed. I don’t think Masimo, Medtronic, or similar companies have anything to worry about. I don’t see us getting an iPaddle™ defib attachment to our watch anytime soon.


macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2019
Tim Apple
So this is what Apple is nowadays: a company that dries up smaller promising companies and that steal their IP, while wanting to be seen as a distuptive pro-environment pro-lgbt company that want to make the world a better place. This is just clowning of course, they just want everyone's money. They are even ready to kill companies that work with their platform (Tiles, fitness apps, music and movies/series streaming apps, banks... next what). That's pathetic that they act so agressively, they even sue companies that have a fruit shaped logo... and want to look like the good guys


macrumors member
Nov 16, 2010
whats the problem with the delay? if apple is found guilty of not paying masimo´s patent after long trial period.. apple will be found liable and have to pay masimo an amount for every single watch sold with this tech. It looks to me that masimo is not confident they actually have a violated patent and they just want to push apple to reach an agreement.


macrumors member
Jul 31, 2009
Malaysia/ New Zealand
Well.. normally I hate frivolous suits against Apple but it definitely feels like thats pretty fishy. I'd be pissed if someone reached out to my company to collaborate, hired my best people, and then used their money to keep me from recourse.
Well everything you’ve described above are PERFECTLY LEGAL. I see no basis for litigations there.


macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2020
Received my Series 6 yesterday and I'm running Beta of OS 14 on my iPhone and Apple support said that the Blood O2 won't work on the beta currently and only works on 14.0.1....

Has anyone else had this issue?


macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2019
Tim Apple
It's can't be that hard to understand that it might get people to go see a doctor before it's critical. That's how lives are saved. Blows one's mind, right?

Turns out I'm a medical student so I pretty much know what I am talking about. It would only be usefull for a tiny fraction of users, in cases of poisoning or for helping some realise that they have sleep apnea maybe (for those who will sleep with their watch and monitor themselves). There are little cases that I can think of where one life would be saved because of a SILENT low oxygen sat. Covid maybe?
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