Apple Watch Infringed Masimo's Pulse Oximetry Patent, US Judge Rules

Apple infringed on one of medical technology company Masimo's pulse oximeter patents when it launched Apple Watch models that use light sensors to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood, an International Trade Commission (ITC) judge ruled on Tuesday.

apple watch 6s 202009
Masimo, which designs pulse oximetry devices, has been embroiled in an ongoing battle with Apple over several health capabilities found in some Apple Watch models, and Masimo has been pushing to have the models banned in the United States.

Medical grade pulse oximetry devices are what Masimo specializes in, and pulse oximetry is a feature that Apple added to the Apple Watch with the Series 6 model. The feature found in the Series 6 and later Apple Watch models uses light to detect the amount of oxygen in the blood, with the feature joining heart rate monitoring and ECG capabilities.

In June 2021, Masimo filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the ITC asking it to halt imports of the Apple Watch Series 6 because of patent infringements related to blood oxygen monitoring.

In Tuesday's ruling, the judge concluded that four other patents at issue were not infringed. The ITC will now consider whether to implement an import ban on Apple Watch models that include the blood oxygen monitoring feature, according to the medical device maker. The final determination is expected to be completed by May 10.

"We are happy that the judge recognized Apple's infringement of Masimo's pulse oximetry technology and took this critical first step toward accountability," said Masimo CEO Joe Kiani in a statement given to MD+DI. "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."

"We respectfully disagree with today's decision, and look forward to a full review by the Commission," Apple said in a statement reported by Reuters.

Masimo initially sued Apple in January 2020, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo inventions. In the prior filing, Masimo claimed that Apple sneakily poached Masimo employees and used patented Masimo technology when developing the sensors used in the Apple Watch.

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 2

Monday June 24, 2024 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers, and the software adds support for new features that Apple is working on, plus it tweaks some of the interface changes that have been made in the updates. Apple will refine iOS 18 over the course of the next few months, with multiple changes and refinements expected from now until September. We've highlighted...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
top stories 22jun2024

Top Stories: Apple Watch X Rumors, New Final Cut App for iPhone, and More

Saturday June 22, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
The avalanche of news coming out of WWDC earlier this month is finally starting to slow, but that doesn't mean there wasn't still lots to talk about in Apple news and rumors this week. This week saw some additional rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch models, the release of major Final Cut Pro updates, the launch of Apple's annual Back to School promo in the U.S. and Canada, new...

Top Rated Comments

kesenwangs Avatar
19 months ago

Making numbers up but truly seems 99% here will blindly defend their Daddy Apple. The mods here don’t seem to do anything about it at all.
Why should mods police general opinions? If a majority wants to think or express themselves in a similar manner that’s their choice. It’s not really a role of mod’s to police conversations that don’t go against any of the sites policies.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alex00100 Avatar
19 months ago
Before people rush here accusing them of patent trolling, just think whether apple would do the same if the other company infringed apples patents.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skeptical.me Avatar
19 months ago
If Apple truly infringed on the patent of the technology, they should be held accountable
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pdaholic Avatar
19 months ago
https://www.macrumors.com/2021/06/30/masimo-apple-watch-series-6-itc-import-ban/

Fun to look back at this thread for all the comments saying Masimo is wasting their time trying to sue Apple.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laptech Avatar
19 months ago
Apple has a history of this, hiring/headhunting/poaching employees from rival companies and then low and behold, patents that Apple were not approved to use turn up in their products. Didn't this happen with with Qualcomm and Broadcom back in the day when they poached employees from those companies and didn't an ex-employee of a car company get arrested for stealing company files when poached by Apple for their Apple car project?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
19 months ago

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/06/30/masimo-apple-watch-series-6-itc-import-ban/

Fun to look back at this thread for all the comments saying Masimo is wasting their time trying to sue Apple.
Making numbers up but truly seems 99% here will blindly defend their Daddy Apple. The mods here don’t seem to do anything about it at all.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)