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Masimo's Determined Stand Against Apple's Dominance in Wearable Health Technology

A CEO's Resolve to Challenge Tech Giants for the Sake of Innovation and Fair Competition

NEWS  Apple  January 2, 2024  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

The resurgence of the Apple Watch is making headlines, but behind the scenes, a relentless legal tussle between tech giant Apple and medical device company Masimo is far from reaching a resolution. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Masimo's CEO, Joe Kiani, delved into the intricacies of the dispute, shedding light on the motivations that drive him to continue the battle against the Silicon Valley behemoth.

Kiani, an industry veteran known for his resilience, stated, "No one is standing up to them. If I can do it, it might change Apple for the better". This determination comes despite Masimo having already spent approximately $100 million in legal fees since the onset of the conflict in January 2020, a substantial sum considering Masimo's total profit for 2022 was around $144 million.

"People were telling me I'm crazy and I can't go against Apple"

The journey has not been without its skeptics. Before embarking on this legal odyssey, Kiani faced warnings from Masimo employees and associates about the risks of challenging Apple. "People were telling me I'm crazy and I can't go against Apple" - Kiani recounted - "They have unlimited resources". However, Kiani remains undeterred, fueled by the belief that challenging tech giants is a necessary step to foster fair competition and innovation.

Masimo's history reveals a track record of triumphs in legal battles. In 2006, Kiani emerged victorious in a seven-year patent dispute with Nellcor, a dominant provider of a rival pulse oximeter device at the time. The settlement brought Masimo nearly $800 million in damages and royalties. In 2016, Kiani prevailed again, this time against Royal Philips in another patent-infringement case, securing $300 million and a licensing deal generating over $1 billion for Masimo.

The current legal wrangle with Apple, however, presents a unique set of challenges. Kiani asserts that Apple has yet to engage in "serious discussions about a settlement". Despite expressing openness to resolution, Kiani remarks, "It takes two to tango". The CEO believes that his stance is not just a legal battle; it is a quest to hold a corporate giant accountable for its actions.

"I feel like I have to do this. If I can change the most powerful company in the world from continuing to act badly, that'll have more impact on the world than anything else I'm doing."

As Masimo continues its fight against Apple, the outcome remains uncertain, but the implications stretch beyond the courtroom. The clash symbolizes a smaller player challenging the status quo, questioning the ethics of tech giants, and advocating for an industry where innovation and fair competition thrive. Only time will tell whether Masimo's stand will indeed be a catalyst for positive change in the tech landscape.


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