A smartwatch trade secrets battle between Apple and health tech company Masimo ended in a mistrial yesterday when jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Masimo sued Apple in 2020 for allegedly poaching its employees and stealing trade secrets related to technology that uses light to measure blood oxygen levels in the Apple Watch. The company had been seeking more than $1.8 billion in damages, cut down from $3.1 billion after the judge dismissed some of Masimo’s claims.
“While we are disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a verdict, we intend to retry the case and continue to pursue legal redress against Apple,” Masimo said in a statement to Mass Device.
According to reporting by Bloomberg, six of the seven jurors had sided with Apple, though they were unable to reach a final conclusion. In a statement, Apple said it would request the judge dismiss the remaining claims in the case.
“We thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case. We deeply respect intellectual property and innovation and do not take or use confidential information from other companies,” an Apple spokesperson wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews.
THE LARGER TREND
This isn’t the only smartwatch legal battle between Apple and Masimo. In 2021, Masimo filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that aimed to take Apple Watches with the blood oxygen sensors off the market.
In January, a judge issued a preliminary ruling that found Apple had infringed on one of Masimo’s patents. The case is still ongoing.
Apple has also sued Masimo, arguing its W1 watches violate Apple’s patents and accusing Masimo of using lawsuits to remove competition from the Apple Watch.
Apple has also been fighting heart monitoring tech company AliveCor over patent disputes. In December, the ITC ruled that Apple Watches with ECG functionality violate two AliveCor patents. The Biden administration agreed to let the ruling stand, but an import ban is still on hold pending a separate case.