Apple won't license Masimo's patents despite Apple Watch import ban

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited February 1

Apple CEO Tim Cook implies there isn't any intention to license Masimo's blood oxygen detection to end the Apple Watch import ban.

Apple Watch Series 9 with a blue strap overturned on a black surface
Apple Watch Series 9



Masimo has been embroiled in a patent lawsuit that most recently resulted in an import ban for Apple Watches with a blood oxygen sensor. Apple opted to disable the sensor to continue sales rather than take any other course of action.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC in a statement shared on live television that Apple is focused on appeals, implying the company has no intention to license Masimo's patents. While it seemed likely that was the case, the company hadn't said as much publicly until now.

"We're focused on appeal," Cook's statement said. "There's lots of reasons to buy the watch even without the blood oxygen sensor."

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are still on sale in the United States where the ITC-mandated import ban is taking place. However, the models being sold have the blood oxygen sensor disabled via software.

Apple Watch models sold before the import ban went into effect on January 18, 2024 will still have functional blood oxygen detection. While Apple hasn't confirmed this, it seems likely that the blood oxygen detection function could be added back via a software update if the import ban ends.

Masimo's CEO has said the company is willing to settle with Apple, but no conversation had started at that point. Now, it is clear Apple has no intention to open negotiations.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    The blood oxygen monitoring feature was a major reason for many people worldwide buying Apple watch. If the feature were disabled, or not available on future watchOS update, can they get a refund?
    edited February 1 williamlondonolsPetrolDavexyzzy-xxxgrandact73
  • Reply 2 of 26
    It has not been disabled on watches purchases prior to the ban.
    williamlondonmike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 26
    The blood oxygen monitoring feature was a major reason for many people worldwide buying Apple watch. If the feature were disabled, or not available on future watchOS update, can they get a refund?

    Why would they? They aren't losing the feature. Only applies to new sales.
    macxpresswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 26
    thttht Posts: 5,447member
    Masimo's CEO has said the company is willing to settle with Apple, but no conversation had started at that point. Now, it is clear Apple has no intention to open negotiations
    After looking at the patents the ITC say Apple infringed, I think Masimo did some submarine patents after the Apple Watch Series 6 was released. If I was Apple CEO, I would never settle with Masimo, and I would try to submarine Masimo with patents in return.
    jas99williamlondonPetrolDaverob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 26
    tht said:
    Masimo's CEO has said the company is willing to settle with Apple, but no conversation had started at that point. Now, it is clear Apple has no intention to open negotiations
    After looking at the patents the ITC say Apple infringed, I think Masimo did some submarine patents after the Apple Watch Series 6 was released. If I was Apple CEO, I would never settle with Masimo, and I would try to submarine Masimo with patents in return.

    Considering Tim Cook would 'Smart Hire' (poach) people rather than partnering with Masimo, it's highly expected that he would be the last one to suggest a negotiation or even a meeting.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 26
    I WAS going to buy a new Apple Watch this year but without Pulse Ox there is no reason to.  My Watch 5 has all the same features.  Apple is being really, really, stupid on this.  They stole the engineering team and then used the IP (kinda hard to avoid when you steal the entire team).  I actually hope Apple loses their shirt on this one...unless of course they really do have unique IP that is not from Massimo.  My guess is watch sales will suffer this year and it will force Apple to settle.
    williamlondonxyzzy-xxxgrandact73
  • Reply 7 of 26
    techsavvy said:
    I WAS going to buy a new Apple Watch this year but without Pulse Ox there is no reason to.  My Watch 5 has all the same features.  Apple is being really, really, stupid on this.  They stole the engineering team and then used the IP (kinda hard to avoid when you steal the entire team).  I actually hope Apple loses their shirt on this one...unless of course they really do have unique IP that is not from Massimo.  My guess is watch sales will suffer this year and it will force Apple to settle.
    Their recent earnings call would indicate they’re probably not as “stupid” as you randomly suggest. But you do you.
    jas99roundaboutnowapplebynaturemike1williamlondonQuickfeet32watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 26
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 617member
    I’m sure Apple has their own replacement for the possibly patent and fringing Massimo pulse oximeter. a different version of it. Will be back on the next watch, and there may even be another surprise. 

    The medical device companies are going to be on the ropes as Apple continues to move into their territory. Like everything else Apple will move slowly and systematically until they’re at the top. 
    jas99Quickfeet32watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Stupid decision. 

    Apple stole the tech. They may as well either license or buy the company. My gosh. 

    The blood oxygen sensor matters. 

    Apple expects to just cut a feature everyone expects and no one will care? LOL. UPGRADERS WILL CARE.  So will new customers who’ve knoen about it. It just makes the watch and future watches look like a downgrade. 

    “Apple watch Ultra. Now in a little less Ultra.” 
    Not such a great tagline. 
    xyzzy-xxxmuthuk_vanalingamgrandact73
  • Reply 10 of 26
    MAU47 said:
    The blood oxygen monitoring feature was a major reason for many people worldwide buying Apple watch. If the feature were disabled, or not available on future watchOS update, can they get a refund?

    Why would they? They aren't losing the feature. Only applies to new sales.
    And only new sales in the US
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 26
    Stupid decision. 

    Apple stole the tech. They may as well either license or buy the company. My gosh. 

    The blood oxygen sensor matters. 

    Apple expects to just cut a feature everyone expects and no one will care? LOL. UPGRADERS WILL CARE.  So will new customers who’ve knoen about it. It just makes the watch and future watches look like a downgrade. 

    “Apple watch Ultra. Now in a little less Ultra.” 
    Not such a great tagline. 
    You have proof that they stole the tech? 
    rob53mike1williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,572member
    I bought an external Blood-Oxygen reader that fits on your finger (back when COVID hit, as it was believed to be a leading indicator) prior to Apple having any such sensor on a Watch, and I manually enter the reading into the Apple Health App. Good enough.
    rob53
  • Reply 13 of 26
    The blood oxygen monitoring feature was a major reason for many people worldwide buying Apple watch. If the feature were disabled, or not available on future watchOS update, can they get a refund?
    It's only blocked in the United States, so the rest of the world is unaffected.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    techsavvy said:
    I WAS going to buy a new Apple Watch this year but without Pulse Ox there is no reason to.  My Watch 5 has all the same features.  Apple is being really, really, stupid on this.  They stole the engineering team and then used the IP (kinda hard to avoid when you steal the entire team).  I actually hope Apple loses their shirt on this one...unless of course they really do have unique IP that is not from Massimo.  My guess is watch sales will suffer this year and it will force Apple to settle.
    Of course you were 
    wonkothesanetenthousandthingswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 26
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,254member
    Will Apple reduce the price to reflect the missing tech? Not likely. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 26
    hexclock said:
    Will Apple reduce the price to reflect the missing tech? Not likely. 
    And your point is?

    From the other point of view would you pay more if Apple adds features after launch?
    edited February 2 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 26
    I can’t see blood oxygen mattering anymore for more than 99% of people, it was an important thing during the Covid era, but now I think hardly anyone ever uses it.

    I’m very,very health conscious especially due to my heart and circulatory issues and even I probably only used it once in the last 6 months and even then more as a point of interest whilst bored. 

    I think if Apple replaced blood oxygen monitoring with either blood pressure or blood sugar that would be a far more compelling product. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 26
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,112member
    Apple is doing what any company in this situation would do: they’re trying to get the ban overturned. If that doesn’t work, they may settle. But they’re certainly not going to offer to settle (i.e. pay a lot of cash) while there’s still the possibility of not having to. Even hinting that they’re open to a settlement would endanger an overturning of the ban.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,251member
    People need to understand the patent trial ended in a hung jury because only one person voted against Apple. It needed to be unanimous. I believe the jury voted something like 5-1 in Apple!s favor so the vast majority of jurists understood Apple didn’t use Masimo patents. None of us were on that jury so we need to stop ragging on Apple. 
    edited February 2 aderutterwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 26
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member
    Samsung announced Oxygen sensing Galaxy Ring which is similar to OURA ring. So, Apple probably knows it has not used exactly same Masimo's oxygen sensing tech in Apple watch or figured out how to redo oxygen sensing function back into the watch. Just a tiny bump, short term setback. No big deal.
    edited February 2 watto_cobra
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