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Watching Apple’s Case: The Banned Patented Technology

Apple has found itself in the legal crosshairs, announcing a suspension on its latest Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches.

The move came as a consequence of a medical patent dispute centred around the blood oxygen sensor (SpO2 sensor) integrated into the devices.

Apple’s Legal Battles in Patented Tech

The legal saga traces back to October 2023 when the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple had infringed on the patent held by Masimo, a prominent medical technology company. Masimo accused Apple of illicitly acquiring its technology through employee recruitment, incorporating the patented technology into their watches. The ban officially went into effect towards the end of December 2023, targeting only Series 9 and Ultra 2, despite the presence of the SpO2 sensor in Series 6 and later versions.

In response, Apple removed the implicated watches from the official platform. While it has removed the watches, the tech giant has also appealed with the US Court. This appeal prompted a temporary halt to the ban, providing a window for reconsideration. The reprieve lasted until January 12, a time frame in which the US Customs was set to deliberate on whether the redesigned Apple watches still infringed upon Masimo’s patent.

Following this, the US Customs delivered a ruling stating that the revamped Apple watches no longer infringed on the patent rights. The final decision remains waiting for the verdict from the ITC.

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