Samsung Sues Oura to Prevent A Galaxy Ring Patent War

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Key Takeaways

  • Samsung has sued Oura to prevent a patent dispute over the Galaxy Ring.
  • It wants a declaration that its smart ring doesn't violate Oura patents.
  • The suit also revealed an expected August ship date.

Samsung has sued smart ring maker Oura in a bid to head off a patent dispute over the Galaxy Ring before it even ships.

The lawsuit demanded a declaratory judgment that the upcoming wearable doesn’t violate five Oura patents through its sensors, health data scores, batteries, and other electronics.

Samsung believed Oura would file a lawsuit based on a history of legal complaints against companies delivering features “common to virtually all smart rings.” It also noted Oura’s seeming preparation for a lawsuit, such as a statement on the strength of its patents and trademarks soon after the Galaxy Ring was announced.

We’ve asked Oura for comment about the Samsung lawsuit and will let you know if we hear back.

In the suit, Samsung said it expected to mass-produce the Galaxy Ring later this month ahead of a US launch “in or around” August. To address possible health data complaints, it previewed an Energy Score feature in Samsung Health that the company will also bring to its next-generation smartwatches.

The Galaxy Ring should include both heart and blood oxygen sensors and integrate tightly with Samsung’s ecosystem, including smart home and payment technologies. Many expect a formal launch alongside new foldable phones at an Unpacked event this summer.

Patent lawsuits over allegedly similar technology aren’t new. Samsung itself faced a long-running Apple lawsuit for purportedly copying key iPhone elements. Pre-launch suits like this, however, are rare — this suggests Samsung believes it has the clout to prevent a patent war before it starts.

It’s too soon to predict the outcome. However, Oura has usually focused its energy on smaller companies where Samsung is one of the world’s largest electronics brands. It’s unlikely that Samsung will fold quickly, if at all.  Other smart ring developers are likely to watch closely, as a victory on Samsung’s part could open the door to more competition.