A New York University doctor is claiming in a recent lawsuit that tech giant Apple used his patented heartbeat-monitoring tech in its Apple Watches without his permission.
USA Today reports that cardiologist Joseph Wiesel is alleging that Silicon Valley tech giant Apple used his patented heartbeat-monitoring technology in its Apple Watches after he told the tech firm about his invention in September of 2017.
Wiesel filed a patent in 2006 for a “method of and apparatus for detecting atrial fibrillation.” Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is when a heart has an irregular and rapid heart rate, the condition causes approximately 750,000 hospitalizations a year. Wiesel’s patent described a sensor and light system that would detect heart rhythms which could then be displayed on a digital display. According to the lawsuit, the same system is used in the Apple Watch.
Wiesel is alleging in a lawsuit that he sent details about his patent to the company after the release of the Series 3 Apple Watch and one year later Tim Cook announced the Series 4 Apple Watch which included AFib detection. The Apple Watch does not diagnose an irregular heartbeat but can detect them and provide wearers with a notification suggesting they have the issue investigated by a medical professional.
Wiesel is now demanding that he be paid royalties by Apple who he believes has placed his intellectual property into its smartwatches. Wiesel also wants his patent to stop being used without his permission. He claims in his lawsuit that the company “refused to negotiate in good faith to avoid this lawsuit.”
Apple Watches are the market leader in the tech wearables industry and generated approximately $24 billion in sales this fiscal year ending in September. Apple devices accounted for more than a quarter of all wearable devices sold in 2018.