Masimo Corp, a medical technology company, recently announced that the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has recommended an import ban on specific Apple Watch models.
According to News.co.au, The ban is proposed due to the infringement of Masimo's patented light technology used for detecting blood oxygen levels.
The USITC has issued a "limited exclusion order," which will go into effect in 60 days unless President Joe Biden intervenes. Masimo CEO Joe Kiani stated that the ruling sends a strong message that even large companies like Apple are not above the law. The complaint against Apple was initially filed in mid-2021, accusing the tech giant of unlawfully using Masimo's patented "light-based oximetry functionality."
Apple has been enhancing its smartwatches with health and fitness features over the years. In response to the USITC's ruling, Apple stated that Masimo is wrongly attempting to use the commission to block a potentially life-saving product from reaching U.S. consumers. Apple plans to appeal the order in federal court.
Apple recently released its Apple Watch Series 9, boasting increased performance and health data logging features. The company also introduced a "double tap gesture" feature for its latest watch models, allowing users to perform common actions without touching the screen.
The ruling could have significant implications for Apple, which dominates the smartwatch market. It also raises questions about intellectual property rights and how they intersect with consumer products that have potentially life-saving features.