As the legal tussle between tech giants Apple and medical technology company Masimo continues, Apple has revealed plans to redesign certain models of its popular Apple Watch series. The move is seen as a strategic response to an ongoing lawsuit filed by Masimo, based in Southern California, raising concerns that the dispute could lead to a ban on Apple products in the United States.
The focal point of the legal dispute revolves around Apple’s blood oxygen sensor, a feature embedded in its Apple Watch models, particularly Series 9 and Ultra 2. In a recent court filing by Masimo, it was disclosed that Apple intends to exclude the blood-oxygen sensor from the redesigned versions of these two Apple Watch models. The redesign has already received approval from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to the filing.
While the court document did not provide details on how Apple plans to remove the blood-oxygen sensor, industry analysts speculate that a potential solution could be implemented through a software update.
The dispute originated when Masimo secured a favorable ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission in late October. This ruling prompted Apple to temporarily halt sales of Apple Watch models featuring the blood-oxygen sensor just ahead of the holiday season. Apple, however, swiftly filed an appeal of the ITC ruling, leading to an order that allowed the affected Apple Watch models to return to stores shortly after Christmas while the appeal is under review.
Despite the temporary resumption of sales, the final verdict on Masimo vs. Apple is still pending from the US Court of Appeals. The potential ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 remains a looming possibility.
The crux of Masimo’s case against Apple revolves around allegations that Apple’s blood oxygen measuring feature, introduced in Apple Watch Series 6 and subsequent models, copied Masimo’s patented technology. Masimo claims that Apple utilized their unique algorithms and light sensor arrangements to display blood oxygen results similar to theirs. Additionally, Masimo accuses Apple of misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information related to pulse oximeter technology, along with poaching some of its employees.
In response, Apple vehemently denies all allegations, asserting that their Apple Watches play a vital role in detecting heart problems among users, emphasizing their life-saving capabilities as a defense against potential bans. As the legal battle unfolds, industry observers are keenly watching for the final decision from the US Court of Appeals, which could have significant implications for both companies and the wearable technology market.
Sources By Agencies