The International Trade Commission will determine if Apple Watch imports should be prohibited.
Masimo, a provider of medical technologies, sued Apple in the middle of 2021 over the Watch Series 6's blood oxygen monitoring features. After introducing a gadget that can detect blood oxygen saturation, Masimo accused the tech giant of violating five of its pulse oximeter patents. It has now been determined by a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge that Apple did violate one of Masimo's pulse oximeter patents.
The ITC is allegedly going to look into whether to impose an import restriction on Apple Watches with the feature, as Masimo had requested when it launched the action, despite the judge also coming to the conclusion that the tech giant did not infringe on the other four patents involved in the case. The ITC's ruling will also have an impact on more recent Apple Watch models, specifically the Series 7 and 8, Ultra, and SE. These models incorporate blood oxygen monitoring features.
In a statement to MD+DI, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani expressed his company's satisfaction that the judge "made this crucial first step toward responsibility." The verdict "exposes Apple as a firm that takes other companies' innovations and repackages them," Kiani stated, adding that "Apple has similarly infringed on other companies' technologies."
Apple, meanwhile, claimed in a statement to the outlet that Masimo was the one who infringed its intellectual property. "At Apple, our teams put in countless hours to develop goods and services that give customers access to market-leading safety, wellness, and health features.
By releasing a product that imitates Apple Watch and violates our intellectual property, Masimo is aiming to capitalize on these numerous advances while also eradicating competition from the market. A spokeswoman stated, "We respectfully disagree with today's judgement and look forward to a thorough review by the commission.
The judge's verdict was simply a preliminary one that took into account the ITC's findings throughout its inquiry; the case's final conclusion won't be made public until May 10.