Masimo Could Stop Apple Watch Series 9 And Ultra 2 Devices Sales From 25/12

Apple Watch Series 9 Story:

The smartwatch industry is no stranger to legal tussles, and the recent clash between tech giant Apple and medical technology firm Masimo has brought significant consequences.

In its initial filing with the International Trade Commission (ITC), Masimo accused Apple of 103 instances of patent infringement across five patents, marking the beginning of a complex legal battle.

apple watch series 9New York Times News, Oct 30, 2023

The crux of the disagreement revolves around Apple’s utilization of SpO2 blood oxygen sensor technology in two of its flagship smartwatches—the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. Masimo, in its accusations, pointed out 103 instances of patent infringement, setting the stage for a contentious legal battle.

 

Apple’s Response to the ITC Ruling

Despite Masimo’s extensive claims, the ITC narrowed down the infringements to two patents, covering five instances related to the Apple Watch’s pulse oximeter feature. This led to an ITC ban that could potentially restrict Apple from importing the affected smartwatches, impacting sales in the United States.

 

  1. The ITC Case Details
  2. Masimo’s Accusations

Masimo’s initial accusations set the tone for a prolonged legal dispute, alleging patent infringement related to the pulse oximeter feature—a critical component in measuring blood oxygen levels.

 

ITC’s Findings and Apple’s Infringement

Contrary to Masimo’s extensive claims, the ITC’s findings identified only two patents with instances of infringement, specifically linked to the pulse oximeter feature in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

 

Presidential Review Period and Possible Intervention

The ITC ban triggered a 60-day Presidential Review Period, placing the decision’s fate in the hands of the Biden administration. While the administration has the power to veto the ban, it has yet to make a move, leaving Apple in a state of uncertainty.

 

Apple’s Reaction

Discontinuation of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2

In response to the ITC ruling, Apple made a bold decision—officially discontinuing the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 within the United States. This move is seen as a preemptive measure, demonstrating Apple’s willingness to comply with the ban should it stand.

 

Significance of SpO2 Blood Oxygen Sensor Technology

The heart of the disagreement lies in the SpO2 blood oxygen sensor technology, a feature that Apple heavily marketed as a life-saving component of its smartwatches.

 

The Impact on Sales and Apple’s Statement

The ITC ban, set to take effect after 3 PM ET on December 21st, will halt the sales of Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the US. Apple clarifies that the ban only affects these specific models, with other versions and the Apple Watch SE remaining unaffected.

Historically, presidential vetoes of ITC decisions are rare. The last instance occurred in 2013 when President Obama vetoed a ban on iPhones amid Apple’s legal disputes with Samsung.

 

Apple has encountered ITC bans before, notably in the 1980s when a similar ban on Samsung products faced a presidential veto. These instances highlight the gravity of the current situation for Apple.

 

Potential Implications for Apple

The ITC ban, if upheld, poses significant implications for Apple, affecting sales and potentially reshaping the company’s strategies moving forward.

The ban’s implementation is set for December 21st, after which consumers won’t be able to purchase the affected Apple Watch models within the US.

 

Last Day for Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Sales

Apple’s retail stores will cease pickup or delivery of Series 9 and Ultra 2 models by December 24th, marking the final opportunity for consumers to acquire these specific smartwatches.

 

Global Availability and Models Unaffected

While the ban impacts US sales, Apple assures global availability of other models and the continued sale of unaffected Apple Watch versions worldwide.

 

Why is Apple Taking This Step?

Apple’s choice to remove one of its top-selling products stems from a continuing disagreement with Masimo regarding its blood oxygen feature. Apple has consistently promoted its smartwatch as a life-saving tool, contributing significantly to its global popularity. However, the conflict with Masimo poses a potential challenge to this narrative.

Overview of Apple’s Dispute with Masimo

Apple’s decision to discontinue its popular products stems from an ongoing dispute with Masimo over the blood oxygen feature. This feature has been a key selling point for Apple, positioning the smartwatch as a life-saving device.

 

Apple’s Marketing of the Apple Watch

The conflict with Masimo threatens Apple’s marketing narrative, raising questions about the accuracy and uniqueness of the blood oxygen monitoring technology in its smartwatches.

Possible Outcomes and Masimo’s Response

As the ban looms, Apple has not approached Masimo for a licensing agreement or settlement. Masimo’s CEO, Joe Kiani, expresses openness to both options, emphasizing the need for communication to resolve the dispute.

 

 Masimo CEO’s Perspective

apple watch series 9

Lack of Communication from Apple

Joe Kiani reveals that Apple has not initiated any communication regarding a licensing agreement or settlement, leaving Masimo in the dark about Apple’s intentions.While open to negotiations, Masimo’s CEO maintains a firm stance, awaiting Apple’s approach for a potential licensing deal or settlement.

 

The Future of the Dispute

The unresolved communication between Apple and Masimo leaves the future of the dispute uncertain. With the ban impending, stakeholders and consumers are keenly observing the potential developments and the impact on both companies.

Recap of Key Points

In summary, the ITC ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, stemming from the patent dispute with Masimo, has prompted Apple to take proactive measures. The clash highlights the complexities of intellectual property disputes in the rapidly evolving technology landscape.

Speculations on Apple’s Future Moves

As the clock ticks down on the Presidential Review Period, speculations arise regarding Apple’s potential strategies—whether they’ll negotiate with Masimo, seek legal remedies, or explore innovative alternatives to maintain their market presence.

 

Final Thoughts on the Implications of the ITC Ban

The implications of the ITC ban extend beyond immediate sales impacts. Apple faces the challenge of preserving its reputation as an innovator while navigating the legal intricacies of patent disputes. The outcome could reshape industry dynamics and influence future legal strategies.

 

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FAQs

Q: Can I still purchase other Apple Watch models in the US after the ban?

 

A: Yes, the ban only affects the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. Other models, including the Apple Watch SE, remain available.

Q: Is there a chance the Presidential Review could overturn the ITC ban?

 

A: Yes, there’s a possibility, but historical instances of Presidential vetoes in ITC cases are rare.

Q: How does this impact Apple’s overall smartwatch market share?

 

A: The discontinuation of Series 9 and Ultra 2 may influence Apple’s market share, but the full extent depends on future developments.

Q: What options does Apple have to resolve the dispute with Masimo?

 

A: Apple can negotiate a licensing deal with Masimo or explore legal avenues to challenge the ITC decision.

Q: How does this dispute reflect broader challenges in the tech industry?

 

A: The dispute highlights the ongoing struggle between innovation and intellectual property rights in the competitive tech landscape.

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