Masimo vs. Apple: A Landmark Victory That Reigns in Big Business’s Overreach

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 27, 2023

In a landmark decision that resonates through the corridors of technology and healthcare, Masimo has made a significant stride in the protection of its innovative intellectual property. Masimo, a powerful force in the global medical technology landscape, is known for its expansive suite of monitoring technologies. It handles everything from advanced sensors to patient monitors and has always been at the forefront of medtech innovation. Now, Masimo is adding a major legal victory to its list of achievements.

In a press release, Masimo announced that the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) was recommending a limited exclusion order. The order targets Apple Watches infringing upon Masimo’s light-based pulse oximetry technology. According to USITC findings, Apple violated US laws by incorporating the company’s patented technology in its products. There will be a 60-day Presidential review period prior to the exclusion going into effect.

“Today’s ruling by the USITC sends a powerful message that even the world’s largest company is not above the law,” said Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo. “This important determination is a strong validation of our efforts to hold Apple accountable for unlawfully misappropriating our patented technology.”

There were dozens of comments supporting the exclusion, primarily to protect the public’s interest. According to the original press release, the comments conveyed that “to protect innovation, such as Masimo’s technology, and to protect public health, it is necessary to preserve incentives to innovate and protect intellectual property and fair competition.” Those who spoke out include academic institutions, antitrust and intellectual property scholars, physicians, investors, nonprofits, and even members of Congress.

“There is no greater offense to both the antitrust and intellectual property law than when a dominant firm infringes the patent of a smaller rival, who is an actual or potential competitor. In this case, as in the other cases involving Apple’s egregious abuse of market power, the harms far outweigh the benefit. In fact, because competition will swiftly replace any services or products that Apple is no longer able to deliver because of the remedy, there will be little harm and a great deal of benefit for consumers and the economy,” stated the Consumer Federation of America in a comment submitted to the ITC.

The Masimo Ruling Goes Beyond a Single Victory

The ruling by the USITC in Masimo’s favor marks a crucial moment in the ongoing narrative of technological innovation versus intellectual property rights. This decision is not just a win for Masimo but showcases that there is a place for smaller tech innovators to compete in a market dominated by tech giants.

Furthermore, the overwhelming support Masimo received from various stakeholders – including academic institutions, intellectual property scholars, and healthcare professionals – demonstrates a collective acknowledgment of the necessity to uphold fair competition and innovation. It’s a reminder that in the rapidly evolving world of technology, where boundaries between different industries are increasingly blurred, the protection of intellectual property is not just a legal issue but a cornerstone for future innovation and public health.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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