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Apple Watch import ban lifted as feature removed

Several Apple Watch models will no longer have pulse oximeter functionality in order to comply with U.S. patent law.
Apple Watch import ban lifted as feature removed
Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 18:08:53-05

Apple has found a workaround for several Apple Watch models that were briefly banned from being imported into the U.S. due to an alleged patent violation. 

Apple's Series 9 and Ultra 2 were subject to import bans after Apple allegedly violated a patent over its blood oxygen feature for the watches. An injunction on the ban was put in place shortly after the ban went into effect, giving Apple several weeks to address the issue.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 were pulled from Apple's website and retail stores in December, and the company also stopped importing the watches into the U.S.

The International Trade Commission said Apple violated medical technology company Masimo’s pulse oximeter patent, which uses light-based technology to read blood-oxygen levels. 

Attorneys for Masimo issued a filing in federal court saying Apple's redesigned watches "do not contain pulse oximetry functionality." Details on how Apple redesigned its watches were not made public. 

SEE MORE: Why you might receive a $92 deposit from Apple

The International Trade Commission previously alleged that Apple violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The act is intended to prevent companies from importing items that violate U.S. patents that could harm smaller companies. The companies allegedly being harmed by sales of Apple Watches include Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, Inc.

Apple had said it disagreed with the International Trade Commission's allegations.


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