Apple has been accused of stealing trade secrets by Masimo for stealing its trade secrets and using its inventions improperly for the various health monitoring features of the Apple Watch.
Apple managed to get its hands on key Masimo tech and inventions under the guise of a working relationship.
Masimo and Cercacor Laboratories, its spinoff company, develop signal processing technology for health-care monitors. They accuse Apple of infringing on 10 of their patents. It notes that Apple overcame performance issues with the Watch by using its technology for non-invasive monitoring using light.
Apple first met Masimo in 2013 for a potential partnership where it wanted to understand the latter’s technology so that it could incorporate them into its products.
However, instead of partnering with Masimo, Apple ended up poaching the company’s chief medical officer Michael O’Reilly who is now the VP of Apple’s health efforts.
The very next year, Apple hired Cercacor’s chief technology offer Marcelo Lamego who had “unfettered access” to important confidential and technical information at the company.
“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,” the companies said in the complaint.
Masimo wants Apple to stop using its patented tech in Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 and return its trade secrets. It is also asking an undisclosed sum in damages.
This is not the first time that we have heard of Apple poaching key employees of a company for its own benefit. If anything, the company is known to do this and this is perhaps one of the risks in working with Apple. The company could either work with you or simply end up poaching your important employees and gain access to the tech it wants.