Apple’s lawyers began calling witnesses last Thursday in their defense of a medical tech company’s $3.1 billion trade secrets and patent lawsuit over the Apple Watch, according to a report by journalist Meghann Cuniff.

A jury of eight Orange County, California, residents — all are women — could begin deliberations as early as next week, according to Cuniff. Masimo’s lawyers at Knobbe Martens LLP allege Apple hired Masimo Chief Medical Officer Michael O’Reilly and Cercacor Chief Technical Officer Marcelo Lamego to specifically target Masimo’s trade secrets regarding pulse oximetry in an effort to bolster development of the first version of the Apple Watch, which was released in 2015. 

Apple’s lawyers at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP say the company rightfully hired two highly qualified job applicants who adhered to strict policies regarding intellectual property rights. They also say Masimo is trying to advance its own watch for consumers, released last year.

This is part of an ongoing legal brouhaha between the two companies. Apple sued medical technology company Masimo in Delaware federal court in October 2022 accusing its new W1 line of smartwatches of infringing several Apple Watch patents.

The two lawsuits said Masimo copied Apple’s technology while seeking bans on sales and imports of Apple Watches in earlier intellectual-property cases against the tech giant in California and at a U.S. trade tribunal. Apple said Masimo “carefully studied Apple’s IP” during those cases and claimed a Masimo spinoff received confidential information about the Apple Watch.

In June 2022 Masimo filed a patent infringement complaint agains the tech giant and is asking for a ban on impacts of the Apple Watch. The medical device company claims that the Apple Watch Series 6 infringes on five of its patents for devices that use light transmitted through the body to measure oxygen levels in the blood. The company says that the tech is vial to its business and that Apple is unfairly copying its features.

In September 2020 Masimo accused Apple of trying to delay a legal fight over allegedly stolen blood-oxygen monitoring technology in the Apple Watch Series 6 so it could gain a more dominant share of the smartwatch market. Blood-oxygen monitoring is a key feature of the latest Apple smartwatch.

Masimo and its spinoff Cercacor Laboratories first sued in January 2020. They accused Apple of promising a working relationship only to steal secret information. The tech giant also allegedly attempted to hire away key employees, including Cercacor’s former chief technology officer and Masimo’s chief medical officer.

In January’s ruling, the judge concluded that four other patents at issue weren’t infringed. MacRumors says the ITC will now consider whether to implement an import ban on Apple Watch models that include the blood oxygen monitoring feature with the final determination expected to be completed by May 10.

Masimo is an American manufacturer of noninvasive patient monitoring technologies based in Irvine, California. The company sells more pulse oximetry to hospitals than any other company.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today