Wearable technology company Valencell is accusing Apple of pretending to be interested in a partnership while it was developing the Apple Watch in order to access information about Valencell’s technology, Apple Insider reports.
Valencell manufactures sensors used in wearable devices. In a lawsuit filed on Monday, the company says that Apple expressed great interest in the company’s wrist-based heart sensor technology. This was before Apple began selling the Apple Watch in 2015, according to the lawsuit.
“Apple solicited technical information and know-how from Valencell on the false premise that it wished to licence Valencell’s PerformTek Technology,” according to the suit. “Apple did not have an intention of licensing Valencell’s PerformTek Technology,” it adds.
According to the lawsuit, Apple downloaded documents from Valencell’s website that outline how the biometric technology works. Valencell says it offers such information “in exchange for various information regarding the downloader.” However, the lawsuit alleges that Apple employees who were involved in developing the Apple Watch downloaded these white papers using “fictitious information.” On at least one occasion, the company alleges that a document titled “Earbud-Based Sensor for the Assessment of Energy Expenditure, Heart Rate, and VO2 max” was downloaded using a fake name.
Valencell believes that Apple is using its “patented technology in an effort to achieve a licensing rate that is below a reasonable royalty.”
There’s no proof that Apple never had any intention of licensing Valencell’s technology.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Apple had been forced to cut several health-tracking features ahead of its launch. The Apple Watch was supposed to ship with blood pressure monitoring, heart activity tracking .and a stress level feature. But those were all reportedly cut before launch due to complexity, possible regulatory issues, and the fact that they didn’t work properly.
Read the full Valencell legal filing below (via Apple Insider):
Business Insider contacted Apple about the lawsuit and will update this article if it responds.