To overcome the US import ban, Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 make a decision—dropping the Blood Oxygen feature. According to Masimo, a key player in the patent dispute, Apple plans to skirt the ban by removing this crucial functionality. This bold step follows an ITC ruling that deemed Apple violated Masimo’s patents, leading to a temporary pause in sales. The decision to forgo the Blood Oxygen app signifies Apple’s commitment to resolve the patent issue and continue offering innovative wearables to its users.
Masimo revealed that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) now thinks Apple’s redesigned watches, without the Blood Oxygen app, don’t violate the ban. Details about CBP’s decision are confidential, but this could be a positive step for Apple. However, things might change if the ITC disagrees.
Apple had shipped modified watches to its US locations, but they were instructed not to sell them until getting approval. Apple’s efforts to address the patent dispute included working on a software update, but ultimately, they decided to remove the Blood Oxygen app entirely.
Although this move helped avoid a quick reinstatement of the ban, it meant giving up a significant feature. The legal battle continues, and a federal appeals court might hear Apple’s plea to extend the ban stay. Meanwhile, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection allowed Apple to keep selling the Series 9 and Ultra 2, just without the pulse oximetry features.
The ongoing legal drama involves Apple appealing the initial ITC ruling and seeking a pause on the ban throughout the appeals process. Reports suggest modified watches are ready to be sold, pending approval. The uncertainty around the fate of the Blood Oxygen feature leaves current and potential Apple Watch owners in limbo.
Even though Apple hasn’t officially commented, there’s optimism from Masimo about Apple’s claim that the redesigned watch doesn’t have pulse oximetry. The resolution of this dispute and the future availability of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, with or without pulse oximetry, remain uncertain. Apple’s commitment to resolving the patent issue shows their determination to keep offering innovative wearables once the legal issues are sorted out. This legal battle highlights the challenges tech giants face in navigating patent disputes and ensuring their products are available to consumers seamlessly.