It seems that Apple is in a spot of bother with one of the most important features of the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch has received a ton of praise and commendations owing to the use of their heart rate sensor technology, and if recent reports are anything to go by, the Apple Watch has been instrumental in saving lives. However, did Apple really steal the heart rate sensor technology used in Apple Watch? According to a recently filed lawsuit in a district court in North Carolina, a company named Valencell claims to have the exclusive copyrights and patents of the heart rate sensor technology in question.
Valencell claims Apple to have approached the company to use its technology for their upcoming range of Apple watches and smartphones. Valencell asserts that Apple employees were granted unrestricted access to the technology for partnership purposes, including whitepaper access from their websites, but the partnership hopes fell through due to multiple reasons. Valcencell however, testifies that they allow users to download their white papers from their website who wishes to learn more about the branded the ‘PerformTek-Powered’ biometric technology, provided, the users provide accurate information about themselves.
In their lawsuit, Valencell goes on to claim that Apple breached their trust by using their own agents to download the white sheets by posing as fake individuals. Valencell also goes on record stating that they have evidence pointing to agents visiting from Apple owned IP addresses, and have identified a group of seven individuals who were a part of the team instrumental for the design and development of the Apple Watch. Valcenell also mentions the involvement of Apple’s Senior Partnership Manager, Mr. Liang Hoe, who is alleged to have met with with Valencell’s co-founder Dr. Steven LeBoeuf.
Valencell has a successful working partnership with numerous electronics manufacturers, including LG, Sony, and Intel, among others. The PerformTek sensor technology is believed to be used in multiple electronic devices that have heart rate sensor technology embedded into them. Valencell believes that the efficiency of their design and in-depth knowledge of wrist-based heart rate sensor technology had prompted Apple to approach Valencell for a partnership, which had gained them unprecedented access to several working prototypes and design information. Valencell claims that they had provided continuous support for Apple by providing a steady stream of working prototypes during the whole of 2014, the same year that Apple launched their revolutionary product. It remains to be seen if Apple really did steal the heart rate sensor technology used in Apple Watch as the lawsuit progresses.