On Tuesday, an Internation Trade Commission (ITC) judge in the United States ruled in its initial determination that Apple has indeed infringed on one of five Masimo patents related to the sensors used for blood oxygen measurement in Apple Watch Series 6 and later. However, the court found that the other four patents were not infringed.
Masimo is a medical manufacturer of signal-processing technology for healthcare monitors. In 2020, it filed a lawsuit against Apple for “maliciously stealing secret information” under the guise of a working relationship to only poach its key chief medical officer and chief technology officer.
The Cupertino tech giant filed a request at the U.S Patent and Trademark Office to dismiss the trade-secret clause of the case and lodged petitions to invalidate Masimo’s patents and wanted the trial court to put the civil lawsuit on hold until the patent issues were resolved. The tech giant has also sued Maiso for copying Apple Watch design.
Unhappy with the tech giant’s delay tactics, Masimo filed a complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission in pursuit of a judgment to stop Apple Watch Series sales which allegedly uses its blood oxygen monitoring technology in 2021.
Apple faces an import ban on watches over blood oxygen monitoring technology as well
Almost after 18 months, the ITC court has found the iPhone maker guilty of infringing on Masimo’s blood oxygen monitoring technology. According to MD+DI, CEO of Masimo, Joe Kiani said:
“We are happy that the [administrative law judge] recognized Apple’s infringement of Masimo’s pulse oximetry technology and took this critical first step toward accountability. Today’s decision should help restore fairness in the market. Apple has similarly infringed on other companies’ technologies, and we believe today’s ruling exposes Apple as a company that takes other companies’ innovations and repackages them.”
On the other hand, the Cupertino tech giant expressed discontent with the decision. It said that Masimo copied its technology and it was looking forward to a full review of the commission.
“At Apple, our teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features.
Masimo is attempting to take advantage of these many innovations by introducing a device that copies Apple Watch and infringes on our intellectual property, while also trying to eliminate competition from the market. We respectfully disagree with today’s decision, and look forward to a full review by the commission.”
Now, the ITC will consider whether to implement an import ban on Apple Watches with Masimo tech which is the second import ban the Cupertino tech giant will be fighting against.
Apple is also tangled in a legal battle with AliveCor over ECG tech in its smartwatches. Recently, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Apple Watch ECG or heart rate monitoring tech infringed on two patents of AliveCor but paused an import ban while the appeals of the USPTO decision were pending.