A New York Cardiologist has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for infringing his invention to detect an irregular heartbeat. Dr. Wiesel has received a patent from the US for an apparatus and method to detect atrial fibrillation on March 28, 2006. According to him, Apple has intentionally violated his patent.
Dr. Joseph Wiesel, a teacher at a New York University School of Medicine, said he approached Apple in September 2017 and informed the tech giant about his patent. Apple refused to negotiate on the patent. Hence, he filed a lawsuit in the court to direct Apple to pay him royalties for his invention. He also requested the court to instruct Apple not to use his method without his permission.
Apple shipped 6.8 million smartwatches
Apple has shipped 6.8 million smartwatches in Q3 2019. It is an increase of 51% when compared to the same period last year. The company is facing a lawsuit when its smartwatches are witnessing a huge adoption in the market. Health and fitness conscious customers are purchasing Apple smartwatches, which have an integrated facility to monitor the irregular heartbeat.
Apple released a new version of the smartwatch in September 2019 with additional features such as Activity Trends, the Noise App, and Cycle Tracking. The heart monitoring feature on this smartwatch is touted to have saved several lives. Removing irregular heartbeat detection feature from the smartwatch will have a catastrophic effect on the sales. Therefore, Apple needs to negotiate with Wiesel and pay compensation if the lawsuit is genuine.
Apple has reported sales of $24 billion from the wearable segment that includes Beats Headphones, Apple TV, and Apple Watch in the recent quarter.
Samsung and Google’s Fitbit FIT competes
The established players like Samsung, Fitbit FIT, and Garmin GMT are in the race in the smartwatch space. These players are intensifying competition in the smartwatch segment, and likely to take significant markets share from Apple going forward.
Google has acquired Fitbit in November and introduced a Versa2 smartwatch with features such as Smart Wake, Sleep Core, and oxygen variation graph. Another player – Garmin has unveiled Vivoactive 4S and 4 smartwatches with features such as body battery energy monitoring, respiration tracking, and sleep tracking. Samsung also puts in tentacles in the smartwatch space by introducing a series of Galaxy watches with fitness tracking features.