A lawsuit accuses medical technology company Masimo of creating an Apple Watch clone

A lawsuit filed yesterday by Apple accuses medical technology company Masimo of creating an Apple Watch clone, in the form of the W1 Advanced Health Tracking Watch.

Masimo denies the claim and says Apple is merely responding to its own lawsuit alleging patent violations by the Cupertino company…


The battle between the two companies has a long history. In 2013, Apple reportedly contacted Masimo to discuss a possible collaboration between the two companies. Instead, Masimo claims, Apple used the meetings to identify staff it wanted to poach. Masimo later called the meetings a “targeted effort to obtain information and expertise.”

Apple hired a number of Masimo employees, including the company’s chief medical officer, before the Apple Watch was launched.

Masimo CEO Joe Kiano later expressed concern that Apple may have tried to steal the company’s blood oxygen sensor technology. The company describes itself as “the inventors of modern pulse oximeters” and its technology is used in many hospitals.

“Some of the talent (recruited by Apple) has access to deep wells of trade secrets and information,” said Joe Kiani, chief executive of medical device company Masimo Corp, which lost its chief medical officer to Apple in mid-2013. Kiani said Apple was offering large salaries with little guidance on what researchers would do. “They’re just buying people,” he said. “I just hope Apple doesn’t do what we do. »

In 2020, the company sued Apple for stealing trade secrets and infringing 10 Masimo patents. The lawsuit sought an injunction over the sale of the Apple Watch.

Masimo W1 is an Apple Watch clone, according to Apple

Fast forward two years, and now Apple is suing Masimo. The Cupertino company claims that the design and features of the Masimo W1 Advanced Health Tracking watch make it an Apple Watch clone.

Masimo is a hospital equipment manufacturer that has never been in the consumer clothing business. But recently, Masimo released its first, direct-to-consumer watch called the Masimo W1. Rather than innovate and develop a product independently, Masimo copied Apple while filing lawsuits to try to prevent Apple Watch sales.

CBS reported an Apple spokesperson saying the lawsuit was to “protect the innovations we deliver on behalf of our customers.” Masimo responded to Reuters, saying Apple was simply retaliating against its own lawsuits.

W1 design and features

Although the Masimo W1 looks more like the Apple Watch than it does, the Cupertino company might have a hard time alleging design infractions, given the somewhat limited number of ways to design a boxy smartwatch.

It may have a higher chance of attacking the feature set. Here is how Masimo describes the W1 feature:

The first of its kind, the Masimo W1 delivers accurate, continuous health data and actionable health insights – from the leader in hospital-based pulse oximetry – in a personal, lifestyle-friendly watch.

Building on Masimo’s decades of leadership in creating breakthrough non-invasive blood parameter monitoring solutions, Masimo W1 provides a variety of physiological data including oxygen level (SpO2), pulse rate, variability pulse rate, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, pleth variability index and perfusion index – for consumers who want to make more informed health and style decisions life, improve their fitness or track their health data alone or with friends and family.

With the W1, Masimo aims to leverage subscription services rather than hardware.

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