The Sackler’s Stink
The Sackler family are the SOBs who own Purdue Pharma and flooded America with OxyContin while knowing it was highly addictive and it was being wrongly prescribed and while claiming the exact opposite. Purdue, the company, has agreed to a Bankruptcy deal that has the Sacklers paying in half their wealth, $6 billion, in exchange for both Purdue and the family receiving immunity from ever being sued again, even by people who have objected to and opted out of the bankruptcy case. That deal is in front of the Supreme Court now for approval or rejection.
A number of OxyContin victims objected to the bankruptcy deal because of the immunity-from-lawsuit provision arguing why should the Sacklers keep half, $6 billion, when it has been proven that the Sacklers were intimately involved with the false marketing of OxyContin that has ruined countless lives. The arguments were both complex and simple. Against the deal—these people are pieces of crap and should not get any protection. For the deal—the Sacklers have moved all their personal money overseas and if we do not take the deal then we won’t get any of that money (nevermind that the United States could claw that money back through criminal prosecutions if the politicians had the guts to allow prosecution). Interesting case, not legally interesting, it is just a bankruptcy approval, but interesting in how it illustrates that the rules are made by and for the super-rich. Merry Christmas!
Your Apple Watch is Dirty
The International Trade Commission issued an order to halt the importation of certain Apple Watches into the United States last week. Medical device-maker Masimo makes, among other things, that clippy thing the nurse puts on your finger that measures your pulse and the amount of oxygen in your blood. Masimo claims that the Apple Watch’s “pulse oximeter,” a blood oxygen sensor in newer models, is a copy of Masimo’s patented clippy-thing device. The ban was issued after Masimo convinced the ITC that Apple has stolen valuable clippy-thing technology. Biden can overturn the ban and Apple can appeal, but the ban is a major victory for Masimo which claims it has spent over $65 million on lawsuits against Apple to protect its patented technology. Sixty-Five Million!
In 2013, Apple met with Masimo about incorporating Masimo’s sensor in the Apple Watch. Masimo says that it insisted on either using Masimo-manufactured sensors in the Apple Watch or developing a new Apple-watch sensor that performed up to Masimo specs, but Apple wanted pieces of Masimo’s technology to make a “good enough” sensor in the Apple Watch because Apple felt that the Apple Watch did not need to perform to clinical-levels of accuracy. This dispute ended the Masimo-Apple relationship. Masimo says that Apple then poached a ton of Masimo employees who, at Apple, used Masimo-protected information to design the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor. The Apple-Watch-import ban goes into effect December 25 so get a new Apple Watch now if you want your blood oxygen levels sensed.
As for the legal commentary, legal protection of invention is important, for sure, but I am happy to let other lawyers handle it. While $65 million in legal fees is a lucrative engagement, nothing sounds worse than devoting a decade of my professional life to commercial litigation between Masimo (worth $4.2B) and Apple (worth $2.7T) over the sensors in a watch and a clippy-thing. The thought reminds me to be thankful that I get to represent real people and real families.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
It has been a fantastic year for your The Local Lawyer®. This was my first full calendar year at the Tannehill Carmean firm (after 21 years at the Oxford office of a statewide firm) and could not be prouder to be practicing at Tannehill Carmean and doing the kind of work I have. The firm is looking forward to big things in 2024—maybe we start a Podcast or have a Christmas parade float next year. Maybe we sponsor an Oxford Pickleball Championship, or hire Juice Kiffen for a social media colab. Regardless, here at the end of this year, in the last column of the year, please bear me one marketing message—remember that your The Local Lawyer® and Tannehill Carmean does just about all types of law that regular people and families need—wills, estates and trusts, real estate, contracts, tax law, small business law, construction, criminal law, family law and divorce and custody, and personal injury. Tannehill Carman’s six lawyers makes it the largest firm in Oxford that does not primarily represent large companies. My personal, direct email address is in the bio on this page, or call our office and ask for me, or visit our website. Have a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!
Mitchell Driskell has practiced law and written nature-themed poetry for twenty-two years. He is currently with the Tannehill & Carmean firm (voted Oxford’s Best Law Firm every year since 2010). You can reach him at 662.236.9996 or email@example.com. He practices personal injury law, criminal law, and family law.