Latest chapter of $2 billion Apple Watch patent battle ends in mistrial
The ongoing US District Court lawsuit from Masimo against Apple ended Monday with a mistrial after jurors couldn't reach a unanimous vote.
Masimo is a medical firm suing Apple for stealing trade secrets to build the Apple Watch. It won its preliminary case with the International Trade Commission, but Masimo also brought its charges in front of the US District Court in April.
According to a tweet from Mark Gurman, that trial has ended in a mistrial. Earlier Monday, a Bloomberg report suggested that six of seven jurors had ruled in favor of Apple, but a unanimous vote was needed.
The Masimo v. Apple trial around patents for the Apple Watch/Health technologies ends in a mistrial. https://t.co/6kOzBtcF7i— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 1, 2023
The judge told the jurors to continue deliberating, and that he wouldn't use a so-called "Allen charge" to force a verdict. Gurman didn't share the details of why the mistrial occurred, but it seems likely that it is due to the jury not reaching a unanimous verdict.
"We thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case," Apple said in a statement to AppleInsider. "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."
This latest development doesn't bode well for Masimo's case, but it isn't the end. The trial will likely be on hold until the plaintiffs decide how to move forward.
"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," a Masimo spokesperson shared in a statement to AppleInsider. "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."
Masimo sought nearly $2 billion in damages, and depending on the outcome, the trial could have resulted in an Apple Watch ban. Read about the witness testimonies from earlier in the trial to understand the scope of Masimo's accusations.
Update May 1, 7:35 p.m. EST: Added statements from Apple and Masimo.