$1.8 billion Apple Watch lawsuit crumbles as mistrial called

A lawsuit over claims that Apple stole trade secrets relating to sensors that ultimately found their way into the Apple Watch has been declared a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

The lawsuit was brought by Masimo, a company that says Apple misused confidential information related to the use of light to measure heart rates and blood oxygen levels — both features that are available in Apple’s best Apple Watches, including the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Series 8.

However, with the jury struggling to reach a unanimous decision a mistrial was called, with Masimo saying that it intends to retry the case.

Apple ‘deeply respects intellectual property’

In a statement provided to Reuters (opens in new tab), Apple said that it “deeply respects intellectual property and innovation and does not take or use confidential information from other companies.” Apple also intends to ask the court to dismiss the remaining claims in the case.

Masimo had asked for more than $1.8 billion in damages as part of the claim, a figure that was down from the original $3.1 billion that the company sought as part of the trial. The two companies haven’t seen the last of each outer either — Apple sued Masimo in Delaware last year over what it claims is patent infringement. The company believes Masimo is getting ready to launch its own smartwatch that would, presumably, need to use similar sensor technology to that already present in the Apple Watch.

Apple is already facing a potential Apple Watch import ban in relation to another patent spat, this time with medical device outfit AliveCor. That lawsuit also relates to heart-monitoring technology that AliveCor owns patents for.

Apple will likely announce at least one new Apple Watch this fall, with the Apple Watch Series 9 a given. We could also see an updated Apple Watch Ultra while a refreshed Apple Watch SE could also be in the cards.



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