News JVTech The Apple Watch soon to be banned: a completely crazy but possible story
Published on 01/13/2023 at 12:40
Is it possible that one of the most important products of the most powerful company in the world is simply banned from sale worldwide? It’s hard to believe, even if the connected watch from Apple is in trouble after a recent legal decision.
A long history: Apple against Masimo dates back to 2013
In order to protect their interests, companies have a habit of file patents when they develop a concept that could have value. Thus, even if this said concept never sees the light of day, the company is assured of retaining the rights to the exploitation for a given time. Apple does not skimp on patents. We see dozens of them appear every year concerning new products, even if most of them never become reality.
But this time, this is not an apple patent we are talking about, but that of the company Masimo, which develops non-invasive monitoring technologies for the medical field. Do you see it coming?
Masimo is contacted by Apple in 2013 for an appointment to discuss a potential collaboration aimed at designing a revolutionary connected watch. According to Masimo, the real purpose of this meeting was to hunt down some employees to move them to Apple to create the Apple Watch. Masimo collaborators were indeed recruited after this interview.
Two years later, in 2015, the first Apple Watch of the name was released, and in 2020, the Apple Watch 6 comes with a new piece of health equipment: a blood oxygen sensor. It measures the level of oxygen present in the blood and identifies potential respiratory disorders. It’s the drop of water that makes the pot overflow for Masimo, which officially files a complaint for patent theft.
Can the Apple Watch be banned globally?
Lawsuit launched in 2020 therefore by the company Masimo, which claims thatApple has happily stolen their proprietary technology via 10 patents to add the oximeter in the Apple Watch Series 6. The words of the CEO of Masimo are as follows:
A few talents that Apple has recruited have access to very important and far-reaching information. They only buy people (not technologies).
Apple has always denied the facts, but a few days ago, the first virulent court decision to fall: the US court has decided that Apple has violated one of the patents from Masimo regarding the blood oxygen level sensor by importing from China to the USA and selling the affected Apple Watches. Apple’s response is:
We respectfully disagree with today’s decision, and look forward to the Commission’s full analysis.
This commission is the USITC, which deals with imports and exports from the USA, which could take a radical decision regarding the Apple Watch 6, but also all the other Apple connected watches equipped with oximeter technology, either Apple Watch Series 7.8 and Apple Watch Ultra. In effect, it would be a ban on the import of Apple watches from China, where they are produced, to the United States.
An oximeter is not a revolution as such, but its miniaturization and its non-invasive aspect found in the Apple Watch seems to be proprietary technology from Masimo, so a ban is possible, and would change everything for the Cupertino brand. As to whether this ban could also concern Europe and the rest of the world, only time will tell.