Apple faces patent lawsuit over the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor

Health startup claims the ticker tracking infringes on its intellectual property
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The inclusion of a heart rate monitor in the Apple Watch allegedly infringes on the patents of startup Omni MedSci, with the Cupertino company now facing a lawsuit over the claims.

The Michigan-based health company accuses Apple and its smartwatch of infringing on four of its patents referencing light-based heart rate technology, with founder Dr. Mohammed N. Islam describing how he met with the company between 2014 and 2016 to discuss the filings.

Read this: Complete guide to the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor

In that time, Islam states that he met several times with Apple's medical technology specialist and vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, though apparently Apple suddenly broke contact and halted any partnership in 2016.

The Omni MedSci patents in question were, it's worth noting, approved in 2017 and earlier this year, including one filing that relates to glucose monitoring from the wrist - something that Apple, along with other wearable giants, are fast exploring the possibility of.

Of course, the timing is crucial to the case here. Islam said he first met with the company in June 2014, which is three months before the original Apple Watch, featuring a heart rate monitor, was first revealed. However, it's almost certain that Apple had finalised on its heart rate tracking technology before the alleged final meeting in order to present it in detail in September and then ship devices the following April.

Add that to the report from Apple Insider that Islam made modifications to his IP after the Apple conference, and the plot surrounding the sequence of events thickens.

Apple has yet to comment on the lawsuit, while Islam is seeking damages and a preliminary or permanent injunction against all sales of the Apple Watch.

Source: Axios

Apple faces patent lawsuit over the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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