Apple Ordered to Halt Sales of Certain Smartwatch Models Amid Ongoing Patent Dispute with Masimo


A federal appeals court has mandated Apple to cease the US sale of its latest smartwatch models in an ongoing patent dispute with health company Masimo. The ban, impacting specific Apple smartwatch models like the Series 9 and Ultra 2, will take effect on Thursday, with Apple required to await the outcome of its appeal.

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Masimo, headquartered in southern California, initiated the dispute by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which, in October, decided to halt imports of the Apple Watch models due to a patented technology related to blood-oxygen level detection. Although the ban was temporarily lifted last month, the recent court ruling reinstates it.

Given that Apple predominantly manufactures its products overseas, particularly in China, the ITC holds jurisdiction over the patent feud. Apple is reportedly planning to temporarily remove the contested technology from the affected smartwatches, a resolution that Masimo has welcomed.

The underlying disagreement revolves around Masimo’s claim that it invented the technology and accuses Apple of luring away key employees to gain access to this knowledge. In response, Apple argues that the ITC’s decision was erroneous and seeks its reversal, prompting an appeal to the federal appeals court.

The timeline for the court’s decision on the appeal is anticipated to extend for a year or more. As of now, neither Masimo nor Apple has provided an immediate response to queries from AFP.

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