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Apple Removes Blood-Oxygen Sensors: Masimo

Customs okays watch Imports without sensors

Apple Inc. has removed blood-oxygen sensors from its watches to get around an import ban, according to Irvine-based Masimo Corp.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday said Apple can use a redesign to bypass an import ban on newer Apple Watch models, according to a Monday court filing.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) initially issued an import ban on Apple’s current Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches beginning Dec. 26. However, a Court of Appeals paused the ban while it hears arguments.

“The ITC’s expert judgment in this matter should be respected,” a Masimo spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “After a thorough multi-year legal investigation, the ITC found that Apple infringed certain of Masimo’s patented innovations for measuring blood oxygen. The decision to exclude certain foreign-made models of the Apple Watch demonstrates that even the world’s most powerful company must abide by the law.”

Reuters said the customs agency’s decision could be overruled if the ITC disagrees with it.

Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI) has accused Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company with a nearly $3 trillion market cap (Nasdaq: AAPL), of hiring away its employees and stealing its pulse oximetry technology to use in Apple Watches.

Separately, on Jan. 12, an appeals court rejected Apple’s appeal of Masimo’s patents as “unpersuasive.”

“We are happy that the Federal Circuit has confirmed the validity of these two important Masimo patents that were originally asserted against Apple in 2020 in the California District Court litigation,” Masimo said.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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