Will you buy an Apple Watch?

Will you buy the first version of the Apple Watch?

  • Yes

    Votes: 14 20.6%
  • No

    Votes: 54 79.4%

  • Total voters
    68
TheForce

TheForce

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This appears to be a squabble over a former employee who was the chief inventor of the pulse technology who solicited Apple to go to work for them, claiming he had multiple patents and knowledge of the health device products that he would like to add to Apple's product line. Apple hired him and soon this employee's name appeared on Apple's patent for pulse and oximetry. Our patent system is supposed to prevent this sort of conflict but it is flawed.

The problem is that it is very hard for an inventor to go to work for a new employer using his expertise and have to say, hire me but I can't work in my field.

It seems from what I heard, Masimo Corp didn't have a non-compete agreement with the engineer. Apparently there were 20 other employees who solicited Apple from Masimo as well.

As far as the patent is concerned, Masimo probably did not have a general technology patent which is extremely difficult to obtain. It is likely that Apple's attorneys felt the technologies in the Apple watch 6 were unique and different enough that they felt safe in applying for the patent that also the US patent office felt the same and it was granted. Masimo obviously disagrees. Masimo sought an injunction against Apple to stop the sale of Apple watch 6 but that failed in court. One article I saw referred to Masimo's invention as a trade secret, not even a specific patent, but the Masimo patent was granted after the employee left. I was always told that a trade secret has no patent protection, unless a Record of invention is filed. An R. I. must be followed up with an application for patent within one year and the invention must be made available in commerce.

Also worth noting is that Masimo fattened it's cash in another suit that they won against Medtronic for over a billion dollars.


I experienced a patent conflict suit where my boss developed a catalyst for a chemical reaction that was highly efficient. But his former employer sued him and the company claiming infringement. They lost because while the new catalyst was made from the same original compound, when it was actually applied, it had been reacted to a totally different compound. The plaintiff's patent was specific, not general. An example of a general technology patenet would be like This reaction can be triggered by using an appropriate catalyst. Instead the plaintiff's patent specifically stated the catalyst was Lead Oxide.

That's about all I can offer. It will be up to the courts to decide, if they don't settle out of court.
 
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harshness

harshness

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This appears to be a squabble over a former employee who was the chief inventor of the pulse technology who solicited Apple to go to work for them, claiming he had multiple patents and knowledge of the health device products that he would like to add to Apple's product line. Apple hired him and soon this employee's name appeared on Apple's patent for pulse and oximetry. Our patent system is supposed to prevent this sort of conflict but it is flawed.
It seems pretty clear that the former employee didn't own the patent so that anything he brought with him wasn't his IP to offer.
The problem is that it is very hard for an inventor to go to work for a new employer using his expertise and have to say, hire me but I can't work in my field.
We shouldn't confuse expertise with IP. If you developed something for company M, you can't take it with you to Company A.
It seems from what I heard, Masimo Corp didn't have a non-compete agreement with the engineer. Apparently there were 20 other employees who solicited Apple from Masimo as well.
Non-compete isn't about IP. It is about using your reputation to steal business away, not IP.
As far as the patent is concerned, Masimo probably did not have a general technology patent which is extremely difficult to obtain. It is likely that Apple's attorneys felt the technologies in the Apple watch 6 were unique and different enough that they felt safe in applying for the patent that also the US patent office felt the same and it was granted.
Apple and their attorneys seem to have this problem often. Where Microsoft buys the company, Apple seems to prefer to borrow technologies and hope they can lawyer their way out instead.
I was always told that a trade secret has no patent protection, unless a Record of invention is filed. An R. I. must be followed up with an application for patent within one year and the invention must be made available in commerce.
Pulse oximeters have been around since long before Apple delivered theirs. Minolta offered a finger oximeter fourty years ago. I suspect Masimo's patent has been in force since before the former employee left.
Also worth noting is that Masimo fattened it's cash in another suit that they won against Medtronic for over a billion dollars.
In the courts, this is known as precedent.
I experienced a patent conflict suit where my boss developed a catalyst for a chemical reaction that was highly efficient. But his former employer sued him and the company claiming infringement. They lost because while the new catalyst was made from the same original compound, when it was actually applied, it had been reacted to a totally different compound. The plaintiff's patent was specific, not general. An example of a general technology patenet would be like This reaction can be triggered by using an appropriate catalyst. Instead the plaintiff's patent specifically stated the catalyst was Lead Oxide.
I haven't seen any of the specifics regarding pulse oximetery IP but given that it has been in use for such a long time, I can't imagine that the company who first delivered the technology didn't patent it years ago. Patents at that level are rarely owned by individuals. Having your name on a patent or having employed the patented technology doesn't give you ownership.
 
TheForce

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Some of what you claim is true but some is based on your personal bias against Apple you have repeatedly demonstrated. No problem with that, just an observation. However, there is not enough known about this case to make some of your claims. The key point I made is that the Apple patent and the Masimo patent may be specific and different enough that the courts could decide there is no infringement. I agree with you that when you work for an employer, he owns your IP that you developed while employed with him and can only prevent you from using your knowledge of technology if you have a non compete agreement.

I don't know how much experience you have with these things other than from google researching but I have lived with name on patents and non competes and these are usually very specific. For example, a non compete can not prevent you from working in your profession. But rather it may prevent this employee from developing a competing pulse oximeter for a competitor, IF the employee developed that IP while solely employed with the former employer. If this employee was hired by Masimo with prior expertise in this specialty, he might be free to develop a competitive product, unless a non compete agreement was in place. None of these details are known in the limited research I have seen which mostly was belly aching by the plaintiff for media sympathy, IMO.

Regarding Pulse Oximeters in general- There are dozens of these on the market. So why Apple? My guess is besides the size of Apple's cash, this also has to do with this particular employee who took his expertise to a new employer because Masimo didn't treat him what he was worth. There are more employers who screw over their employees than the other way around.

Masimo, a Chinese company, has also entered into a covenant and agreement not to sue certain other specified Chinese and US companies for Patent Infringement for similar technology in order to avoid anti competitive practices. Masimo is engaged in numerous suits for it's thousands of patents that it refused to negotiate settlements.

The case against Apple is expected to be heard in US court by end of 2023.
 
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TheForce

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I haven't seen any of the specifics regarding pulse oximetery IP but given that it has been in use for such a long time, I can't imagine that the company who first delivered the technology didn't patent it years ago.
Utility patents have protection for the shorter of 20 years from date of application, 17 years after issuance. There are also Keep Alive fees that must be paid periodically. Patents can't be renewed.

The Pulse Oximeter was invented by a Japanese inventor in 1974.
 
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harshness

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Regarding Pulse Oximeters in general- There are dozens of these on the market. So why Apple?
Primarily because Masimo wants to get into the medical diagnostic wearables market that is where the Apple Watch is clearly a hot item.

Displacement is much easier than competing.
 
TheForce

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Primarily because Masimo wants to get into the medical diagnostic wearables market that is where the Apple Watch is clearly a hot item.

Displacement is much easier than competing.
That makes more business sense than what I suggested.

The suit description I saw was for AW series 6. I wonder why not 7 too?
 
frank c.

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Couple of weeks ago I upgraded my AW6 44mm to the AW7 45mm. Didn’t think the change from the 44 to the 45mm would make a big change but, for me it did, it’s much easier to read the screen. Gave my AW6 to my son Branden.
 
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rvvaquero

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Well, it's been about 14 months since I bought my new Apple Watch SE. Thought I'd do a little follow up report.

I did buy the cellular one. Activated it for a couple of weeks. I was disappointed in it's range. When I was out on the golf course, I would get no calls or texts, only to find that I had several when I got back to my vehicle and checked my phone. So, I un-activated the cellular function.

The watch is surprisingly dependable otherwise. I can go all over my house and most of the yard and still maintain connection through either bluetooth or wifi. That's what I bought it for, so I didn't have to lug my iPhone everywhere. I've answered a few calls on the watch, but mostly just use it to see who's calling and I go pick up my phone to answer or call them back. I take and answer most texts on the watch.

In public, if I decide to have my iPhone with me, I can silence the phone and still be alerted to calls or texts via the watch. It's easy to glance at the watch and see who it is. It's also easy to cover the watch to silence it, or I can turn sound off on it also.

There's a couple of other features I use quite a bit on the watch. One is the compass and altimeter. Both seem to be pretty accurate compared against known sources. Another feature is the heart rate monitor, while I'm working out. I've also used the noise level meter quite a few times, but not on any regular basis.

I really like the ability to change straps and bands quickly and easily on the Apple Watch. I bought a bunch of bands from a SatGuys member and change them almost daily to match my shirt or shoes or mood.

I bought the 40mm size because I have pretty small wrists. I like it and it has been a good fit. However, my next one will probably be the larger size. It may not look as good on my arm, but I need it. In the Fall and Winter, I had cataract surgery on one eye and piggyback surgery on the other. Now, I don't wear glasses any more. However, I do need reading glasses. So, a little larger watch screen would be helpful.

Overall, I've been very happy with the Apple Watch. I think it's amazing how many features they can put in such a small package, half a dozen sensors and radios and so forth. I've had a couple of comments on buying a watch that cost so much. I just respond with examples of watches which cost 10-50 times as much which people buy everyday. My brother, the banker, was amazed that I spent that much, then I asked him how many country club friends he had who wore a Rolex.

I'll probably buy an AW7 or AW8 later this year, mainly to get the always on face feature.
 
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rockymtnhigh

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My Apple Watch 6 remains an incredibly valuable piece of tech with no problems in the 18 months I have had it.
 
Scott Greczkowski

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I am still on my series 4. No real reason to upgrade yet as its been working great.
 
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Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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Battery is still good. Wear it all day and night. Take it off and charge it when I get up in the morning and take a shower.
 

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