Apple Inc. petitions for IPR of Valencell, Inc.’s “Physiological monitoring methods and apparatus” patent

March 7, 2018—Valencell, Inc. owns US 9,289,135, directed to a method of photoplethysmography (PPG), an optical technique whereby light is projected into living tissue and the reflected light is detected after its interaction with the skin, blood, and other tissue. PPG is meant to measure the changes in blood volume through the use of light. A significant problem in PPG is the interference of motion and sound in the signal, which the ‘135 patent seeks to address in consisting of a housing module that comprises of a PPG sensor, a motion sensor, and at least one signal processor configured to process signals from the motion sensor and PPG sensor, to reduce motion artifacts from the PPG signals. Apple Inc. petitions for inter partes review of the ‘135 patent under § 103, asserting obviousness over several prior art references. Specifically, the prior art references are cited as having developed the noise cancellation techniques that remove motion artifacts in PPG signals, and that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated to combine the various references.

The patent-at-issue is US 9,289,135, entitled “Physiological Monitoring Methods and Apparatus.”

By: Laya Varanasi