Masimo Claims Legal Win Over Engineer Who Stole Trade Secrets

The court ruled the engineer misappropriated trade secrets related to the company's pulse oximeter tech.

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The United States District Court for the Central District of California has ruled that a former Masimo engineer misappropriated trade secrets related to Masimo’s pulse oximetry technology. The former Masimo engineer, Marcelo Lamego, also served as Chief Technical Officer at Cercacor, a Masimo spinoff which owns certain license rights to many Masimo patents. Lamego left Cercacor in 2014 to work at Apple and later launched his own company, True Wearables, which created a wireless, wearable pulse oximeter device.

In the ruling, the District Court found that Dr. Lamego stole multiple Masimo trade secrets, breached his fiduciary duty of loyalty to Cercacor, and violated his employment agreements by keeping confidential information and documents. The Court ordered Lamego to abandon at least twelve patent applications containing Masimo’s trade secrets and to return all confidential information and documents.

The Court has also permanently enjoined the sale of the True Wearables pulse oximeter because the Masimo trade secrets were foundational to its health sensing features.

“This ruling will give comfort to companies that invest in innovation, by confirming that California’s trade secrets laws will help protect their investments from employees who seek to unlawfully use those innovations for their own benefit,” said Tom McClenahan, Masimo’s General Counsel.

Masimo has a separate lawsuit pending against Apple, which is currently set for trial in March 2023, alleging that Apple, through Lamego and other former Masimo employees, misappropriated Masimo’s trade secrets in developing certain physiological monitoring features of the Apple Watch.