In Patent War with Masimo, Apple files an appeal with U.S. Court of Appeals

Apple challenges a ban on its watches after Masimo’s complaint of patent infringement. The U.S. International Trade Commission barred imports of Apple Watches with blood-oxygen reading tech. Apple seeks to halt the ban until Customs decides on redesigned watches. The ban affects Series 9 and Ultra 2 models.

In Patent War with Masimo, Apple files an appeal with U.S. Court of Appeals
Apple Fights Ban on Latest Watches in Patent Dispute with Masimo (Credit: Apple)

Apple Fights Ban on Latest Watches in Patent Dispute with Masimo

Big Tech Battle Over Blood Oxygen Tech

Apple is up against a major obstacle in the U.S. market: a ban on importing its latest Apple Watch models. This ban stems from a patent dispute with Masimo, a medical technology company, over blood oxygen monitoring technology. Let’s dive into the details of this case and explore what it means for Apple and its customers.

What Happened?

  • Masimo Accuses Apple: Masimo claims that Apple stole its pulse oximetry technology, which measures blood oxygen levels, and used it in the Apple Watch Series 6 and later models. They believe this infringes on their patents.
  • Government Ruling: The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) agreed with Masimo and issued an import ban on the affected Apple Watch models. This means Apple can’t bring them into the country for sale.
  • Apple Appeals: Apple disagrees with the ITC’s decision and has appealed it to the U.S. Court of Appeals. They also asked the court to temporarily halt the ban while the appeal is ongoing.
  • Biden Administration Approves Ban: President Biden’s administration decided not to veto the ITC’s ruling, allowing the import ban to take effect.

Impact on Apple and Customers

  • Apple Watch Sales Paused: Apple has stopped selling the banned models in the U.S., but they are still available from other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.
  • Lower-Cost Watch Unaffected: The ban doesn’t apply to the Apple Watch SE, a less expensive model.
  • Potential Appeal Delay: If Apple’s appeal is successful, the ban could be lifted. However, experts predict it could take another year for the legal process to play out.

Why is This Important?

  • Patent Protection: This case highlights the importance of protecting intellectual property and enforcing patent rights.
  • Innovation and Competition: The outcome could impact competition in the smartwatch market and the development of health-related features in these devices.
  • Consumer Choice: Apple Watch users may have limited options while the ban remains in place.

What’s Next?

  • Apple’s Appeal: The court will decide whether to uphold the ITC’s ruling or grant Apple’s request to pause the ban.
  • Legal Battle: The legal battle between Apple and Masimo is likely to continue in court.
  • Redesigned Watches? Apple may try to design around Masimo’s patents or remove the infringing feature from future Apple Watch models.
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Source(s): Reuters

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