Apple’s Battle with Masimo over Infringed Pulse Oximetry Patents


  • The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an import ban on Apple’s Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches in December which was briefly halted and then resumed as Apple contests the ruling.
  • Apple suggested a redesign that does not infringe Masimo’s patents for blood oxygen reading technology might be an option.
  • Apple’s claims to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency about the redesigned watch lacking pulse oximetry functionality was not verified publicly.
  • Masimo accused Apple of infringing its patents and stealing its technology, with legal battles ongoing.
  • The Federal Court is mulling over either maintaining the ban’s pause or reinstating it for Apple watches without the redesign.

Updates on Apple’s Current Legal Challenges

Apple’s Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches came under ban from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). This decision was initially carried out on December 26. However, Apple managed to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to temporarily stop the ban. Following this, Apple resumed selling the watches while appealing the ITC decision.

Redesign Plans and Patent Infringement

Apple had proposed a modification that could allow the company to bypass the accusation of infringing Masimo’s pulse oximetry patents. The tech giant has yet to publicly detail the redesign, which could potentially include a software update to the watches.

Legal Battle with Masimo

The Federal Circuit has received a claim from Masimo indicating that Apple’s redesigned watches do not feature pulse oximetry functionality. Masimo might petition ITC to reject the U.S. Customs agency’s choice. Both Apple and Masimo representatives were not available to comment.

Masimo’s Allegations Against Apple

The California-based company, Masimo, has alleged Apple of poaching its employees and misappropriating its pulse oximetry technology for Apple Watches. Furthermore, Masimo initiated a lawsuit against Apple in 2020, alleging patent infringement and the theft of trade secrets.

Ongoing Appeal Consideration

The Federal Circuit is still deciding whether to reinforce the ban or continue the halt, affecting basically the Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches with pulse oximetry functions that are not redesigned. Apple reasons that it stands a high chance of winning this appeal and that continuing the ban would cause substantial damage to the tech giant, its suppliers, and the public.

Impact on Masimo’s Business

Masimo maintains that sustaining the pause would hurt its business standing as well as its employees’ morale. They also stated that the decision by the Customs would undermine Apple’s argument that the reinstatement of the ban would cause the company irreparable damage.

The ongoing legal battle could potentially influence the trading of Apple and Masimo shares, with any outcomes likely affecting investor confidence and thus share prices.

PIP Penguin