Apple Watch makers sued over possible patent infringement

| Jan 6, 2020 | Patent Law |

New Jersey fans of the newest Apple Watch may be interested to know of a lawsuit filed against the company. The lawsuit was filed by a New York cardiologist who alleges that Apple infringed on an atrial fibrillation detection patent he filed in 2006 by using the technology he developed in their Apple Watches.

The cardiologist developed a method for detecting atrial fibrillation via an inflatable cuff or a special light that is emitted through the skin. Atrial fibrillation, also known as an irregular heartbeat, is a serious medical condition that may cause blood clots, heart attack and stroke. Early detection of atrial fibrillation may help prevent heart-related deaths from occurring.

The most recent version of the Apple Watch claims to detect atrial fibrillation by emitting a green LED light and light-sensitive photo bodies to monitor blood flow and heart rate. The watch lets users know via an alert system if an irregular heartbeat is detected. The cardiologist alleges that this is his invention that is being used in Apple Watches. According to the suit, the doctor first contacted Apple in 2017 regarding the possible infringement. When they didn’t respond to requests for communication, he filed the lawsuit in New York in late 2019. He is seeking to have the technology stopped or to receive royalties from Apple Watch sales.

When a patent is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, certain protections are given to patent holders to prevent their inventions or ideas from being used by others. When an individual or company takes another idea or invention without payment, this is known as patent infringement. If a judge rules that patent infringement occurred, the company or individual may have to pay for the use of the idea or invention. A patent lawyer might be able to help an individual who believes that someone has stolen their patent by filing a suit on their behalf.

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