Anurag Singh

Apple’s decision to hire a Masimo engineer after receiving an email is said to be the spark that ultimately caused the Apple Watch Series 9 ban.

The latest Watch Series 9 is banned from being sold in the US due to a patent dispute between Apple and medical technology company Masimo. Apple has been accused of infringing on patents for pulse oximetry tech made by Masimo.

While the Cupertino company says it’s working on a resolution, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman might have discovered what led to this dispute. According to the journalist, a Masimo engineer emailed Tim Cook for a job ten years ago. After being hired, the engineer went on to file a dozen patents, some of which apparently led to Masimo’s lawsuit against Apple.

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Masimo Engineer key figure in Apple watch ban saga

Bloomberg reported that Marcelo Lamego, who has a PhD in engineering from Stanford and was the Chief Technical Officer of Cercacor Laboratories Inc. – a spinoff of Masimo – sent an email to Tim Cook in 2013 asking for a job.

“I have developed several medical devices in the last 10 years and I am positively sure I could add a significant value to the Apple team, if I was given the chance of becoming part of it,” the engineer wrote in his email to Tim Cook.

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“I strongly believe that we can develop the new wave of technology that will make Apple the No. 1 brand in the medical, fitness and wellness market,” he added.

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Lamego was hired by Apple’s R&D team in January 2014. However, his time at Apple was short-lived – only 7 months. During his time at the company, he filed several patent applications related to sensors and blood-oxygen algorithms for a wearable device.

The engineer reportedly had no real knowledge of how to develop the blood-oxygen feature that Apple was interested in. He shared what he knew from Cercacor and Masimo.

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Apple’s hiring of Lamego shortly after getting the email, along with his numerous patent filings, reportedly triggered the ban on the Apple Watch Series 9.

Masimo has even accused Apple of poaching its workers. This alleged employee poaching forms part of Masimo’s wider allegations that Apple infringed on Masimo’s patents.

There’s no news on whether sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 will be resumed in the future. Apple states that it strongly disagrees with the ban and is actively working on finding every possible solution to bring the devices back to the market.

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