“It’s painful. It’s an ugly thing to go through. It’s like war” – Masimo CEO talks about his legal battle with Apple which halted the sale of current Apple Watches

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(Image credit: Future)

Masimo, a medical technology company based out of California, has been embroiled in a legal battle with Apple that led to a temporary cessation of Apple Watch sales in the US. Recently, Joe Kiani, the Masimo CEO, has spoken to the Wall Street Journal about being one of the few CEOs willing to take on Apple. 

Just last month, it was revealed that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 would be pulled off sale in the US as Masimo claims Apple has infringed on its Blood Oxygen monitoring patents, with sales officially stopping just days later. The import ban was then lifted until a motion for a longer pause could be seen. This could mean that next year’s Apple Watch will need a workaround for the monitoring tech. 

In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kiani said “Justice isn’t just blind but very slow,” following this up with “It’s painful. It’s an ugly thing to go through. It’s like war.”

A long battle

This is not the start of the dispute between Masimo and Apple, with Masimo initially filing a claim back in 2020 followed by Apple filing a counterclaim for the same technology in 2022. Masimo claims it met with Apple representatives in 2013, with the interest of putting Masimo technology in the Apple Watch. Masimo claim that Apple then allegedly stole that tech, violating its patent.

As part of Apple’s 2022 countersuit, representatives said “Masimo, while trying to block importation or sale of Apple Watch, was also secretly copying it.” Masimo denied these claims and stated it has “never been in the consumer wearables business.” 

This is not the first time a company has made similar claims of Apple — with the Wall Street Journal pointing to a case where an engineer claimed Apple Sherlock was based on his Watson program. Kiani is, as a result, seen as one of only a few CEOs who are willing to put the money in to fight a legal battle with the iPhone-creating tech giant. 

Though operating income is not known, Masimo reported an annual revenue of $2.036B in 2022, a 64.28% increase from the previous year. Masimo clearly has enough income to take on the lengthy and extensive costs of a drawn-out legal battle and Kiani seems heavily personally invested in the outcome of what it could mean for the broader technology industry. When recounting his childhood, Kiani likened Apple to the bullies he faced. “I learned that you can’t walk away from bullies… You have to punch back.” Halting the sales of Apple Watches may be just one of many legal punches. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.