Lawsuit claims Apple cribbed Apple Watch heart rate sensor tech, hints at work on glucose ...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 19
Health technology startup Omni MedSci, in a patent lawsuit filed on Friday, alleges Apple incorporated infringing technology in its Apple Watch heart rate sensor after reviewing patent-pending specifications with Omni's founder and CTO Dr. Mohammed N. Islam.




Lodged with the Eastern Texas District Court, a jurisdiction that often sides with patent holders, the Omni suit leverages four patents related to wearable optical technology capable of measuring and monitoring physiological attributes. Specifically, the patents-in-suit, as granted, describe methods of measuring various parameters of a user's blood using LED-based sensors.

Invented by Islam and assigned to Omni, U.S. Patent Nos. 9,651,533 and 9,757,040 were granted in 2017, while U.S. Patent Nos. 9,861,286 and 9,885,698 were issued in 2018.

Each patent references a wearable device that uses a light source, in some cases near-infrared LED arrays, alongside a receiver module to capture non-invasive blood measurements. Apple Watch implements similar technology to obtain the heart rate of its wearer.

According to the document, Islam met with Dr. Michael O'Reilly, a medical technology specialist who joined Apple earlier that year, and hardware manager Michael Hillman to discuss what were then patent applications in June 2014, three months prior to Apple's unveiling of Apple Watch in September. Hillman subsequently invited Islam to meet with another Apple team in February 2015, less than two months before Watch went up for preorder.

About two weeks after the team meeting, Islam amended the pending IP to include extensive mention of "wearable devices" and "LED" light sources. Notably, each patent initially included heavy emphasis on laser technology, specifically short-wave infrared modules, for monitoring distinct physical attributes. For example, the '040 and '286 patents target tooth decay, while the '533 patent covers technology for detecting pharmaceuticals in a patient's bloodstream.

The changes to the patent language and, more importantly, their respective claims are not noted in the lawsuit.

The suit further notes Apple VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak in an email dated July 14, 2016 invited Islam to discuss the pending technology with a team at Apple. At the ensuing meeting on July 18, Islam shared the patents-in-suit with Apple employees, the lawsuit says. Islam continued discussions with unnamed Apple personnel regarding the status of his patents.

In December 2017, Islam emailed O'Reilly to "identify" the issued '533 and '040 patents. What was said in the email is unknown, though it can be assumed Islam requested clarification as to whether the technology had been incorporated into Apple Watch.

By the first meeting in 2014, however, Apple had already finalized its Apple Watch heart rate sensor, and subsequently presented the technology in detail at the device's unveiling event.

"We [Apple] don't wish to receive any information about any of your IP [Intellectual Property]," O'Reilly said, according to the lawsuit.

That Apple relied on Omni's patents is questionable, but perhaps more dubious are the modifications Islam incorporated into his IP after the Apple conference.

While Apple has yet to comment on the matter, the company's willingness to meet with the startup founder suggests further research into advanced sensor technology. As Islam outlined in all four patents-in-suit, laser light can be more effective than conventional LEDs in picking up blood signatures.

In particular, Islam's '698 patent covers non-invasive methods of monitoring glucose levels in a patient's blood, a solution Apple is rumored to be investigating.

Islam seeks damages for infringement, court expenses and a preliminary or permanent injunction against products found to infringe on the patents-in-suit.

Omni MedSci Patent Suit Targeting Apple Watch by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Highly doubtful of infringement here, photoplethysmography is *very* well established medically, has numerous patents associated with it prior to Omni, with the core concepts dating back to 1937 and even earlier. I.E. There is a very good reason why they chose West Texas, and it has nothing to do with having a good set of patents.
    SoliMuntzpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 132member
    Here they go again....target Apple 🍏 
    Muntzjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    The patent is invalid. It describes every pulse oximeter ever made. Which, by the way, are wearable devices, usually put on the tip of an index finger!
    berndogjbdragonwatto_cobraairnerdairnerd
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Wow. 
    berndogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 392member
    Highly doubtful of infringement here, photoplethysmography is *very* well established medically, has numerous patents associated with it prior to Omni, with the core concepts dating back to 1937 and even earlier. I.E. There is a very good reason why they chose West Texas, and it has nothing to do with having a good set of patents.
    The patent is invalid. It describes every pulse oximeter ever made. Which, by the way, are wearable devices, usually put on the tip of an index finger!
    Ditto. In addition, the patents were not even in effect when the Apple Watch first came out, and that's the release date, forget about development. In any other court it seems like this would get thrown out pretty quick. In Texas, well...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,664member
    If you have to file in Eastern Texas District Court, you already know your so called lawsuit is a pile of crap. The case would be tossed everywhere else.
    mwhiteFoliopscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member
    I’m sorry, did I read this right?

    This chap met with Apple, then altered his patent to highlight the stuff he’d seen in the meeting?

    No wonder he’s filing in Texas. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 254member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I’m sorry, did I read this right?

    This chap met with Apple, then altered his patent to highlight the stuff he’d seen in the meeting?

    No wonder he’s filing in Texas. 
    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Wonder if he added a phone, tablet, MP3 player, or anything else Apple was producing at the time to the patent? 
    Foliowatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,071member
    'Lodged with the Eastern Texas District Court .... '  Why does that somehow seem to lessen the credibility of this case ...?
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    TomETomE Posts: 71member
    And Here We, the Apple Watch Users and the Stockholders, wait while these "legal opportunities" await the potential benefits of the Apple Watch.   This is ridiculous in every way.  Show us what the watch can do !  We are here, waiting and need it.  Make me a beta wearer of the new improved software & hardware.  I am a user since pre 1984.  Our Government is a padlock around productivity; as is our legal system.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 200member
    Given Apple would likely patent their own inventions long before something like the Watch would be announced, the likelihood is, if there is patent infringement, it would be Omni who is infringing Apple's patents. 

    Then there is the question of novelty -- a key provision for patentability. Omni's patents can't be novel if Apple is already producing the Watch using the ideas claimed to be covered by Omni's patents. 

    Omni seems was several years late to this party. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    MacPro said:
    'Lodged with the Eastern Texas District Court .... '  Why does that somehow seem to lessen the credibility of this case ...?
    Simply because of the history the place has. It is VERY, VERY friendly to Patent Trolls.
    This goes back at least 15 years.
    People just groan when they hear that a case has been filed in East Texas.
    If they had filed in the Northern District of California then people would have taken notice.

    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    gilly017gilly017 Posts: 49member
    MplsP said:
    Highly doubtful of infringement here, photoplethysmography is *very* well established medically, has numerous patents associated with it prior to Omni, with the core concepts dating back to 1937 and even earlier. I.E. There is a very good reason why they chose West Texas, and it has nothing to do with having a good set of patents.
    The patent is invalid. It describes every pulse oximeter ever made. Which, by the way, are wearable devices, usually put on the tip of an index finger!
    Ditto. In addition, the patents were not even in effect when the Apple Watch first came out, and that's the release date, forget about development. In any other court it seems like this would get thrown out pretty quick. In Texas, well...
    I agree in Texas well...?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    f1ferrari said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    I’m sorry, did I read this right?

    This chap met with Apple, then altered his patent to highlight the stuff he’d seen in the meeting?

    No wonder he’s filing in Texas. 
    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Wonder if he added a phone, tablet, MP3 player, or anything else Apple was producing at the time to the patent? 
    Yep.  His “business model” was to file a patent, meet with Apple, amend the patent, then sue Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 997member
    It’s just free publicity of a specific religion.
    tallest skilwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member
    The problem is that there’s no penalty for losing. That’s why we don’t have this nonsense clogging up the legal system in the U.K.  

    Though I believe that judge who ruled against Apple in the iBooks case did something quite clever. 

    When faced with a frivolous lawsuit, she threw the case out and ruled that the patent troll had to pay the victim’s legal costs. The troll’s lawyers smiled and said the troll didn’t have the money. 
    ”Fine,” said the judge, then told the troll’s lawyers that they would be paying the victim’s legal costs.  


    GeorgeBMacpscooter63Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,684member
    Rayz2016 said:
    The problem is that there’s no penalty for losing. That’s why we don’t have this nonsense clogging up the legal system in the U.K.  

    Though I believe that judge who ruled against Apple in the iBooks case did something quite clever. 

    When faced with a frivolous lawsuit, she threw the case out and ruled that the patent troll had to pay the victim’s legal costs. The troll’s lawyers smiled and said the troll didn’t have the money. 
    ”Fine,” said the judge, then told the troll’s lawyers that they would be paying the victim’s legal costs.  
    🙌
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    I’m fairly certain that USPTO examiners are among the dumbest people on Earth.  And that’s saying something.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 102member
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Rayz2016 said:
    The problem is that there’s no penalty for losing. That’s why we don’t have this nonsense clogging up the legal system in the U.K.  

    Though I believe that judge who ruled against Apple in the iBooks case did something quite clever. 

    When faced with a frivolous lawsuit, she threw the case out and ruled that the patent troll had to pay the victim’s legal costs. The troll’s lawyers smiled and said the troll didn’t have the money. 
    ”Fine,” said the judge, then told the troll’s lawyers that they would be paying the victim’s legal costs.  


    Getting the troll law firm to pay the legal costs sounds like an amazing solution to stupid lawsuits.
    watto_cobra
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