From The Wall Street Journal:
It sounded like a dream partnership when Apple Inc. reached out to Joe Kiani, the founder of a company that makes blood-oxygen measurement devices. He figured his technology was a perfect fit for the Apple Watch.
Soon after meeting him, Apple began hiring employees from his company, Masimo Corp., MASI -0.77%decrease; red down pointing triangle including engineers and its chief medical officer. Apple offered to double their salaries, Mr. Kiani said. In 2019, Apple published patents under the name of a former Masimo engineer for sensors similar to Masimo’s, documents show. The following year, Apple launched a watch that could measure blood oxygen levels.
“When Apple takes an interest in a company, it’s the kiss of death,” said Mr. Kiani. “First, you get all excited. Then you realize that the long-term plan is to do it themselves and take it all.”
Mr. Kiani is one of more than two dozen executives, inventors, investors and lawyers who described similar encounters with Apple. First, they said, came discussions about potential partnerships or integration of their technology into Apple products. Then, they said, talks stopped and Apple launched its own similar features.
Apple said that it doesn’t steal technology and that it respects the intellectual property of other companies. It said Masimo and other companies cited in this article are copying Apple, and that it would fight the claims in court.
Apple has tried to invalidate hundreds of patents owned by companies that have accused Apple of violating their patents. According to lawyers and executives at some smaller companies, Apple sometimes files multiple petitions on a single patent claim and attempts to invalidate patents unrelated to the initial dispute.
Many large companies, particularly in tech, have been known to scoop up employees and technology from smaller potential rivals. Software developers have given a name to what they describe as Apple’s behavior in such cases: sherlocking. The term refers to an episode about two decades ago, when Apple released a software product called “Sherlock” that helped users find files on its Mac computers and perform internet searches.
After an outside company built a tool that had a few more capabilities, which it called “Watson,” Apple released an updated version of Sherlock with many of the same features. According to the engineer who built Watson, which he subsequently sold, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs personally called him to defend the move.
Companies that allege Apple copied them fight back in two ways: complaining publicly to get attention from regulators interested in Apple’s market power, or filing lawsuits against Apple.
App developer Blix Inc. has alleged that Apple stole its technique for anonymizing email addresses during online service sign-ups when the company launched its “Sign in with Apple” feature in 2019. Tile Inc., the maker of object-tracking devices that once integrated seamlessly with the iPhone, has faced off against Apple after the company launched a similar product called the AirTag in 2021.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal
For those who think Apple is kind and good while Microsoft is EEEEEEEEEvil!