Samsung Oura
Samsung Oura

Samsung sues Oura to prevent legal action over Galaxy Ring

What To Know

  • Samsung has filed a lawsuit against Oura in an effort to preempt potential intellectual property disputes as it prepares to launch the Galaxy Ring.
  • ” The suit points out that Oura responded to the Galaxy Ring announcement by emphasizing the strength of its patent portfolio.
  • The company first unveiled a render of the ring in January and showcased physical models at the Mobile World Congress in February.
  • As companies like Samsung and Oura vie for dominance, the use of intellectual property as both a shield and a sword becomes increasingly prevalent.

Samsung has filed a lawsuit against Oura in an effort to preempt potential intellectual property disputes as it prepares to launch the Galaxy Ring. The suit highlights Oura’s history of using its patents to sue smaller wearable tech companies and suggests that the Finnish startup might target Samsung next.

This legal maneuver reflects the strange dynamics of large corporations suing startups to avoid being sued themselves.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Verge, states, “Oura’s actions and public statements demonstrate that Oura will continue asserting patent infringement against other entrants into the U.S. smart ring market, including Samsung.” The suit points out that Oura responded to the Galaxy Ring announcement by emphasizing the strength of its patent portfolio.

Samsung claims that the Galaxy Ring does not infringe on Oura’s patents. However, it argues that Oura has aggressively protected its IP, citing examples where Oura sued smaller competitors like Ultrahuman, Circular, and RingConn as soon as they entered the U.S. market.

The lawsuit also mentions Oura’s media activities following the Galaxy Ring announcement, where the company highlighted its “over 150 patents.” Samsung specifically references quotes from TechCrunch and a CNBC interview with Oura CEO Tom Hale, who hinted that the company might use its IP portfolio against Samsung.

Samsung’s legal filing portrays Oura as a patent troll, accusing it of holding patents for features common to all smart rings, such as electronics, sensors, batteries, and health metrics. This approach is reminiscent of Samsung’s past patent disputes with Apple, where Samsung argued that Apple held patents for obvious technologies or methods used across the industry.

Samsung filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. Although Oura is based in Finland, it has a U.S. presence in Delaware and offices in San Francisco with over 50 employees.

The lawsuit provides additional details about Samsung’s Galaxy Ring. The company first unveiled a render of the ring in January and showcased physical models at the Mobile World Congress in February.

According to the document, Samsung finalized the Galaxy Ring’s design in mid-May 2024 and plans to start mass production in mid-June. The Galaxy Ring is expected to launch in the U.S. around August, likely at Samsung’s summer Unpacked event.

This legal battle underscores the competitive and contentious nature of the wearable tech market. As companies like Samsung and Oura vie for dominance, the use of intellectual property as both a shield and a sword becomes increasingly prevalent. For consumers, these disputes can impact the availability and innovation of new products, making the outcomes of such lawsuits particularly significant.