Apple smartwatches could face an import ban after a U.S. judge ruled that the company infringed on one of Masimo’s pulse oximeter patents.
A U.S. administrative law judge ruled that by importing and selling some Apple Watches with light-based pulse oximetry functionality and components, Apple infringed on the medical device maker’s patent.
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) will now deliberate on the possibility of implementing an import ban on these Apple Watches.
According to Masimo, in 2020, Apple first introduced a pulse oximeter sensor with the Apple Watch Series 6 and continues to integrate the technology in its current smartwatches.
“We are happy that the ALJ recognized Apple’s infringement of Masimo’s pulse oximetry technology and took this critical first step toward accountability,” said Joe Kiani, CEO of Masimo.
“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.”
Masimo makes pulse oximeters for medical use, having revolutionized the industry with its Masimo SET pulse oximetry technology, proven to help reduce blindness in babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, save lives of post-surgical patients on opioids and COVID patients monitored remotely.
“We respectfully disagree with today’s decision, and look forward to a full review by the Commission,” Apple said in a statement.