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Oura Health Sues Ultrahuman Healthcare for Allegedly Copying Smart Ring Design and Technology

Blog article by Aris Gregorian

Prepare for the battle of the smart rings! Oura Health filed a lawsuit on September 1, 2023 against Ultrahuman Healthcare in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that Ultrahuman copied its patented smart ring technology and infringed its copyrights.

Oura Health claims it pioneered health tracking smart ring technology with its Oura Ring launched in 2015. The Oura Ring monitors a user’s heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen levels, and movement during sleep and active periods using proprietary sensors and algorithms. Oura asserts it spent years innovating, developing, and patenting its proprietary ring technology.

The lawsuit alleges Ultrahuman Healthcare recently began selling its Ultrahuman Ring that infringes two Oura patents covering wearable electronic devices that track health and fitness data – U.S. Patent Nos. 10,893,833 and 10,842,429. Oura also claims Ultrahuman’s ring design, social media posts, and app interface are strikingly similar to Oura’s protected designs and interfaces.

Specifically, Oura alleges Ultrahuman’s ring includes the same components like sensors and battery suppliers. Oura also claims Ultrahuman copied its patented method of detecting rest versus active periods to calculate a daily readiness score. Additionally, Oura asserts Ultrahuman posted social media images nearly identical to Oura’s copyrighted landscape and 3D ring graphics.

Oura alleges that Ultrahuman obtained confidential Oura information in late 2021 from a shared investor before launching its imitation product. Oura also claims Ultrahuman hired away at least 5 former Oura employees and solicited many of its current engineers.

Oura is seeking an injunction against Ultrahuman to stop infringing its patents and copyrights. Oura also wants damages, including lost profits and punitive damages for willful infringement.

The lawsuit sets up a legal battle over smart ring technology between Oura as an early innovator and Ultrahuman as a new competing entrant accused of copying, and serves as a strong demonstration of why freedom to operate (FTO) searches are so valuable before commercializing new products (or launching new businesses). Even a basic FTO analysis could have flagged potential infringement and copyright issues early so companies (like Ultrahuman!) could have maneuvered to mitigate risks. Ultrahuman may now pay the price for allegedly failing to identify relevant IP barriers before launch!

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