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Apple won’t license Masimo’s patents despite Apple Watch import ban

Apple CEO Tim Cook has suggested that the company does not plan to acquire a license for Masimo’s blood oxygen detection, leading to the import ban on Apple Watches featuring the sensor. In the midst of a patent lawsuit with Masimo, Apple faced an import ban on watches equipped with a blood oxygen sensor. Instead of pursuing a licensing agreement with Masimo, Apple chose to disable the sensor to continue sales.

In a statement made to CNBC during a live television broadcast, Tim Cook indicated that Apple is primarily focused on appeals, suggesting the company’s lack of intention to license Masimo’s patents. While this was already presumed, it hadn’t been publicly stated by the company until now.

“We’re focused on appeal,” Cook stated. “There’s lots of reasons to buy the watch even without the blood oxygen sensor.”

Despite the import ban imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 continue to be available for purchase in the United States. However, the models being sold have the blood oxygen sensor disabled through software.

Apple Watch models sold before the January 18, 2024 import ban still feature functional blood oxygen detection. Although Apple has not officially confirmed, there is speculation that the blood oxygen detection function could potentially be reinstated through a software update if the import ban is lifted.

Masimo’s CEO has expressed the company’s willingness to settle with Apple, although no discussions had initiated at that point. The recent statement from Tim Cook makes it clear that Apple currently has no intention of entering negotiations.

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