Apple to deactivate Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 blood oxygen sensing to avoid import ban
As part of Apple’s ongoing patent infringement dispute over blood oxygen sensing technology in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, which resulted in a temporary sales bad of the two models late last year, Apple is reportedly preparing to remove blood oxygen sensing from the wearables to avoid a import ban on the devices.
On Monday, an insight from Florian Mueller, an expert in patent litigation, claimed that Apple, in response to the ITC import ban, has taken the step of eliminating all pulse oximetry functionality from the Apple Watch. This strategic move prompted U.S. customs to declare that the Apple Watch no longer falls under the purview of the import ban. Notably, Apple is seemingly opting to remove the blood oxygen feature outright instead of devising a workaround.
In a recent publication on ipfray, Mueller conveyed that a submission made by Masimo to the Federal Circuit indicates that U.S. customs granted clearance to Apple’s modified product on January 12, 2024. The filing explicitly states that the contested feature, namely pulse oximetry, has been excised. Consequently, Apple is presently authorized to market and import the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.
Masimo, a U.S.-based medical technology company, initiated a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the tech giant of infringing on patents related to blood oxygen sensing technology. This feature was first introduced with the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020, providing users with information about the oxygen levels in their blood, typically ranging between 95% and 100%.
Apple has yet to comment on the reported plan.