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Tuesday, Jul 16, 2024

OC Insider: Fighting On

Of the seven local residents, all women, deliberating the case between Apple and Masimo, only one juror sided with the Irvine-based medtech (Nasdaq: MASI).

Her refusal to be swayed by the others resulted in a hung jury in the $1.85 billion case involving smartwatch trade secrets; see Peter J. Brennan’s front-page story for the next steps in the closely watched tech trial.

The near win for Apple hasn’t stopped Masimo co-founder and CEO Joe Kiani from vowing to push on with its case against the world’s most valuable tech company (Nasdaq: AAPL).

“We intend to retry the case and continue to pursue legal redress against Apple,” he said in a company statement.

Legal affairs correspondent Meghann Cuniff, who along with Brennan was among the few journalists attending the trial, noted that the case was “the most academic trial I’ve ever watched.”

Cuniff, who posted updates of the trial on her legalaffairsandtrials.com site, also noted via a tweet that “the hold out in Masimo’s favor is the most educated of the jurors: She has a master’s degree and teaches corporate development.”

That could provide a source of optimism for Masimo as it heads to a different legal venue in its multi-pronged case against Apple.

“The United States Trade Commission is scheduled in the coming months to decide whether to ban the importation of certain models of the Apple Watch,” Kiani said last week.

A less academic legal dispute unfolded last week at a pair of Laguna Beach hotels.

A public altercation between two groups of dueling private security guards prompted city officials to close the landmark Hotel Laguna on Coast Highway, as well as the city’s 14 West hotel.

City officials described the skirmish, resulting in one arrest, as the escalation of an ongoing business dispute between local Mo Honarkar and his lenders. There have been conflicting claims over who has legal authority over the two venues.

Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Co. is reported to have a $120 million line of credit tied to various local properties. Continuum Analytics, which deals in distressed debt real estate investments, is reportedly involved in the dispute.

The ground floor and dining areas for the 100-year-old Hotel Laguna were recently renovated by Honarkar, though a larger revamp of the property remains in limbo.

Amar Santana, OC’s best-known chef, hasn’t quite gone Hollywood. But he’s getting closer.

The head of Costa Mesa’s Vaca and Laguna Beach’s Broadway, who as of last week’s episode was still competing in Bravo’s 20th season of Top Chef, is adding a third restaurant to his portfolio.

A second Vaca location is coming to Downtown Los Angeles, at a new luxe residential tower near 7th and Wilshire. Vaca at Beaudry is set to open early next year.

Santana made the announcement during a recent lunch at the local Vaca, which was hosted by South Coast Plaza. The meal featured several dishes that have impressed judges in the latest season of Top Chef, which was filmed in London. About half the episodes have aired to date.

He credited the inspiration for one dish, a Moroccan braised lamb shank that was an Episode 5 elimination challenge winner, to business partner Ahmed Labbate, who along with Santana was named the Business Journal Restaurateurs of the Year in 2020.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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