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Apple/Masimo Trial Over Apple Watch Pulse Oximetry Technology Ends in Mistrial

Apple/Masimo Trial Over Apple Watch Pulse Oximetry Technology Ends in Mistrial

The latest legal battle between Apple and pulse oximetry company Masimo has ended in a mistrial, says a Bloomberg report. Jurors in the case were unable to come to a decision in their deliberations, which led U.S. district judge James Selna to declare a mistrial.

The jury was hung, with a six-to-one vote in favor of Apple. The jurors on Monday sent a note to the judge, asking what to do, as the juror voting in favor of Masimo refused to change her vote.

The judge initially planned to send the jurors home for the night with deliberations to continue on Tuesday, but after they insisted they would not be able to come to a consensus, he opted to declare a mistrial.

The legal battle between Apple and Masimo has dragged on over the last few weeks. Masimo claimed Apple stole Masimo employees and stole trade secrets while the Cupertino firm was developing the Apple Watch. Masimo was seeking over $1.8 billion in damages and co-ownership of five Apple pulse oximetry patents that Masimo said used its technology.

It is true that Apple has hired employees away from Masimo, hiring Chief Medical Officer Michael O’Reilly in July 2013, and then in 2014, it hired Cercacor Chief Technical Officer Marcelo Lamego (Cercacor is a Masimo spinoff company). Masimo claims that the two former employees shared Masimo’s intellectual property when they developed the Apple Watch, which Apple denies.

During the trial, Masimo told the court that Apple’s watch development was suffering before the Cupertino firm hired O’Reilly and Lamego. In a 2013 email, now-retired Apple executive Bob Mansfield called the Apple Watch “a mess” and said the sensor would “fail” on its “current path.”

For its part, Apple maintained that it used no Masimo intellectual property in its development of the Apple Watch. The company also maintained that what Masimo claims are “trade secrets” are ideas “long known and used by multiple companies.”

As you might expect, the two sides in the legal battle reacted a bit differently to the hung jury.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said:

“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. We are pleased that the court correctly rejected half of the plaintiffs’ trade secret allegations, and will now ask the court to dismiss the remaining claims.”

Meanwhile, Masimo said that it plans to continue pursuing the case.

“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. As we begin that process, the United States Trade Commission is scheduled in the coming months to decide whether to ban the importation of certain models of the Apple Watch, following a ruling last year by an Administrative Law Judge that Apple infringed one of Masimo’s patents for pulse oximetry.”