Apple – “God Of Death” in Silicon Valley

Apple – “God Of Death” in Silicon Valley: Pretend to cooperate with startups with great products, then rob people, steal ideas, take down a company quickly.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Joe Kiani felt like a dream when he was asked to work with Apple through the startup Masimo to measure his blood oxygen levels. The technology of this startup is said to be perfectly suitable for the Apple Watch product.

Then soon after the offer, Apple began hiring Masimo employees, including engineers and the company’s medical director, for twice the salary.

In 2019, Apple patented blood oxygen measurement technology under the name of a former Masimo employee. The following year, the Apple Watch integrated its blood oxygen measurement function.

“When Apple is interested in a startup, this can be a ‘kiss of death’. You will be excited at first, but then you will realize this is just a long-term plan so that Apple can develop the technology itself and own all the technology. About 95% of Apple’s iPhones are made in China and don’t ask me where they learned this trick.” – Mr. Kiani said.

Mr. Joe Kiani of Masimo

Kiani is just one of many directors, investors, inventors and lawyers who accuse Apple of stealing other people’s creations. Most of the stories these people told the WSJ had the same script.

First, Apple will come to talk about cooperation or express a desire to integrate new technology into the Apple ecosystem. Then suddenly negotiations were postponed and Apple launched a similar service on its product.

Apple says it doesn’t steal anyone’s technology. They always comply with the intellectual property rights of other businesses and the law. However, Apple said that the techniques of Masimo and many people mentioned by the WSJ were completely taken from Apple. They will proceed with the proceedings in court.

Meanwhile, those who think Apple stole their ideas say that Apple is using its huge resources to invalidate its patents. Specifically, Apple will file multiple complaints for a patent in an attempt to invalidate it. Even through lawsuits that have nothing to do with the original dispute.

Controversial history

20 years ago, Apple released the software “Sherlock”. This software is intended to help users find document files on Mac computers or Internet search platforms. But when another enterprise developed a more advanced application with many outstanding features called Watson. Apple quickly released an update with many similar features.

According to the engineers who developed Wastson, it was founder Steve Jobs who personally called them to justify this move.

Apple – “God Of Death” in Silicon Valley

Usually, companies have only two ways to fight back: Either make headlines in the media to attract the authorities about Apple’s monopoly power in the market. Or file a lawsuit against Apple – the richest corporation in the world.

Recently, software developer Blix Inc sued Apple for stealing technology to anonymize their online email addresses. Apple developed the “Sign in with Apple” service in 2019. The initial goal of the development team was to build a platform compatible with the iPhone ecosystem. But in 2021, Apple launched a service with a similar function called AirTag.

Currently, the US Department of Justice is investigating whether Apple is using its ecosystem to “seduce” small businesses. Thereby stealing ideas or technology to serve the corporation or not.

“The truth is that these companies are stealing our products or suffocating competition with invalid patents. We will continue to fight these allegations in court to protect our technological achievements on behalf of our customers.” an Apple spokesperson stated.

“We will compete with you”

In fiscal year 2022, Apple spent up to $26 billion on research and development (R&D), a 20% increase year-over-year.

Apple has tried to increase profit margins and diversify products through self-developed many technologies. However, Apple sometimes also seeks acquisitions and mergers to access new technology. This saves time and also accepts royalty payments to avoid conflicts with small businesses.

Over the past three years, Apple has paid out royalties on 25,000 small business inventions. However, many startups still accuse Apple of stealing their ideas.

CEO Tim Cook with Apple Watch

In 2016, AliveCor Inc. developed an electrocardiogram device that is fully compatible with the newly launched Apple Watch. He met with chief operating officer Jeff Williams, who is also responsible for Apple’s health services.

Mr. Albert said he introduced his product when he put the device on director Williams’ arm to measure the electrocardiogram. Then the Apple leader said, “We’d love to work with you, but maybe we’ll compete with you in the future.”

In 2017, AliveCor became the only Apple Watch medical accessory to be FDA-approved.

In 2018, Apple launched Apple Watch Series 4 with built-in electrocardiogram without the need for AliveCor accessories. Apple also updated the operating system in the direction of blocking AliveCor’s software and hardware. A year later, this startup was forced to stop selling accessories for the Apple Watch.

Apple said it has researched and developed electrocardiogram technology on its own since 2012. Three years before the launch of the Apple Watch product line. This is an explanation that AliveCor does not find convincing.

Legal fight

In 2021, AliveCor filed an IP infringement lawsuit with the ITC. That December, the commission ruled in favor of AliveCor, banning the importation into the US of any Apple Watch with an electrocardiogram facility.

In response, Apple brought the dispute to the Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication Board (PTAB). This is a unit set up to neutralize bad patents that were created to collect money without producing any products.

The PTAB Board invalidated AliveCor’s patents, thereby also rescinding the previous ITC ban.

Of course, AliveCor is still appealing, and said that Apple is still trying to invalidate 7 other patents of this startup.

Employee Robbery

Going back to Masimo, this startup launched a blood oxygen measurement feature, compatible with Apple products in 2013. Apple’s director of acquisitions and mergers Adrian Perica emailed Masimo asking for an in-depth partnership.

“Let’s discuss ideas on how Apple can interact with this technology on our products”, the email reads.

Masimo’s Research Lab

However, just a few months later, Masimo’s director of medical engineering, Michael O’Reilly, called Mr. Kiani. He announced that he would resign to join Apple with double salary and millions of bonus shares.

Apple’s side still reassured Mr. Kiani that there was nothing to worry about and continued to discuss cooperation. Then Apple “robbed” another 30 employees from Masimo.

In 2014, Apple hired Marcelo Lagemo, a former Masimo employee and technical director of another similar startup, Cercacor Laboratories Inc, which licensed Masimo’s patents.

In 2020, Masimo sued Apple in a Southern California court for stealing information through the recruitment of its employees.

Mr. Kiani said Masimo has spent $ 55 million to pursue the lawsuit against Apple and will likely have to spend another $ 100 million to fight Apple – “God Of Death” in Silicon Valley.