TechApple CEO battles patent infringement allegations over smartwatch features

Apple CEO battles patent infringement allegations over smartwatch features

Some Apple Watches have lost an important function.
Some Apple Watches have lost an important function.
Images source: © Apple

5:20 AM EST, February 5, 2024, updated: 4:18 AM EST, March 7, 2024

For some time, the media has teemed with reports of alleged copyright infringement by Apple. The company incorporated a technology for measuring blood oxygen levels in their smartwatches - a feature patented by Masimo. It was widely anticipated that Apple would purchase the rights to use this patent. However, reality might pan out differently.

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has taken a firm stance on potentially acquiring a license from Masimo. The Apple chief has emphasized that he does not intend to pay Masimo for the permit.

Subsequently, this could end the import ban on Apple Watch devices. This ban refers to smartwatches equipped with a saturation sensor, i.e., a sensor measuring the oxygen level in the blood. The American giant chose to disable this feature in the watch software.

Masimo's CEO has also shared information about his company's plans. They, in turn, are prepared to strike some agreement with Apple. The proposition likely involves receiving payments for each sold smartwatch equipped with an oxygen level sensor patented by Masimo.

The disabling of sensors for measuring blood saturation is a temporary measure. During a live broadcast on CNBC, Tim Cook announced that his company would persist in fighting for their rights in court. Despite Apple losing the case against Masimo, they are now concentrated on filing an appealing counterclaim.

So far, few anticipated such a plot twist relative to the import ban of Apple watches. Nonetheless, Tim Cook has been reassuring potential customers. During his CNBC appearance, he asserted that purchasing the latest model of the Apple Watch is still advisable. Plenty of reasons back this decision, and sales numbers indeed suggest that customers concur with Apple's CEO.

The debates concerning the import ban on some Apple Watch models are captivating. But, it's crucial to note that this only applies to devices available in the American market. We are discussing the two latest models of this brand:

  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2

Both smartwatch models can still be acquired effortlessly in the United States. Technically, they aren't different from the versions unveiled at their premieres. Apple deactivated the "controversial" blood oxygen level sensor via a software update. The company could likely remove the block on this sensor just as swiftly, should they win in court. Apple hasn't officially confirmed this, but this is probably part of their strategy.

The models launched in the U.S.A. before January 18, 2024, aren't subject to any restrictions.

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