A patent dispute between Apple Inc. and Masimo Corp. could result in certain consequences Apple Watch Models are now prohibited from being imported into the United States.
Monica Bhattacharyya (an administrative judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission) had ruled in January that Apple Watch Series 6 infringed one of Massimo’s patents. This involved the use of light sensors for identifying blood oxygen levels in the device’s pulse oximeter. A full ITC commission will review the case and issue a final decision by May 10.
Masimo, a California-based patent attorney, had requested that the ITC stop imports of Apple Watch Series 6 with the disputed components. The commission can enforce an Apple Watch ban if Masimo is ruled in its favor.
This judgment will also be applicable to models that were released after Apple Watch Series 6 and contain these components. Bhattacharya concluded that Apple did not infringe on the four Masimo patents mentioned by Bhattacharya.
In January NoteTamlin Bason, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, pointed out that ITC had made the first round decision. “may not provide sufficient leverage for the medical device maker to sway Apple into a licensing agreement.”
“We believe Apple may be able to design-around the infringed claims, thus reducing the risk of an import ban. Masimo’s best shot of a deal now hinges on a March trade secrets trial, assuming its claims survive summary judgment.”
Masimo Royalty Pays, Bond Denial
Masimo requested that an exclusion order be issued that would prevent the import of Apple Watch models. He also demanded that a bond be established that equals the value of infringing goods, insisting that Apple products were causing harm to people’s pulse oximetry perception.
Bhattacharya rejected the bond request. He pointed out that the public perception of Masimo’s alleged harm was not clear and Masimo suffered any injuries.
Bhattacharya concluded that Apple had infringed on two claims of a Masimo Patent. Bason pointed out, however, that these patent claims are not related to the “heart of the technology” It monitors blood oxygen levels.
Bason estimates that Masimo’s chances of pushing Apple into a licensing deal are 60 percent. This could give Masimo around $50–300 million in annual royalty revenues.
Apple Versus Masimo Lawsuits
Masimo had filed the lawsuit for patent infringement in June 2021. Masimo’s CEO Joe Kiani called Bhattacharya’s Jan ruling “a decision that restores.” “fairness in the market.”
“We are happy that the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) recognized Apple’s infringement of Masimo’s pulse oximetry technology and took this critical first step toward accountability,” According to Kiani, a Press release January 10, 2010
“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.”
Apple disagreed with Bhattacharya’s ruling and stated that it was looking forward for a thorough review by the ITC. Both Apple and Masimo also filed lawsuits against one another in addition to the patent infringement suit that was filed from June 2021.
Apple sued Masimo twice for attempting to remove Apple Watch from the marketplace in October 2022. This was to make way to Masimo W1 watch which was launched Aug. 31. Apple claimed that Masimo was also involved in the lawsuit. “copies Apple Watch and infringes on our intellectual property.”
Masimo filed counterclaims in mid-December 2022 claiming that Apple had infringed on 10 of its patents, as well as procuring fraudulent patents. Apple was also accused of unfair competition, antitrust violation, deceptive trading practices, false advertising, and violating antitrust laws.
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