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Watch Masimo Ban Imports In The First Round

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Watch Masimo Ban Imports In The First Round

(CTN News) – As part of its bid to block imports of Apple Inc.’s popular smartwatch, a US International Trade Commission judge found that certain models of the Apple Watch infringe five Masimo Corp. patents related to the use of light sensors to measure oxygen levels in the blood.

Prior to the announcement of her initial determination on Tuesday, Judge Monica Bhattacharyya had postponed the decision three times.

The accused products infringe at least one claim in each of three patents, according to the notice, but most of those were mooted by Bhattacharyya’s findings that the infringed claims were invalid or that Masimo failed to demonstrate that a domestic industry exists in order to meet the technical prong of the requirement.

Bloomberg Law estimates that patent No. 10,945,648 will expire in August 2028.

Similarly, Bhattacharyya upheld the validity of two other patents for which she found no violation by the Apple Watch. However, one of these patents failed to satisfy the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.

Her findings, which remain confidential until both sides redact confidential information, are subject to review by the full commission.

This commission has the power to block imports of products that violate US patents. A target date of May 10 has been set for the completion of the investigation by the commission.

Masimo launched the campaign, in which it accused Apple of stealing Masimo’s technology, in June 2021, after a federal trial court case had been delayed for nearly two years due to Apple’s challenges over the validity of the patents and disputes over access to information, a tactic that irritated Masimo’s chief executive.

A Bloomberg Intelligence analyst pegged the odds at 60% that Masimo’s ITC case could still lead to an agreement with Apple for $50-$300 million in annual royalty revenue, in a note dated Dec. 14.

According to Bason, Apple’s own lawsuits filed in October suggest Apple views the litigation as risky and is seeking to reduce Masimo’s negotiating leverage. According to him, if Masimo wins the trade dispute, some watch models could be blocked by mid-July.

As part of its patent-infringement lawsuits, the Cupertino-based tech giant filed two lawsuits against Masimo last October, alleging that Masimo “hastily developed its W1 watch in an effort to remove the Apple Watch from the market and create space for Masimo’s own watch.” Masimo’s W1 was launched on August 31.

As part of its counterclaims, Massimo – an Irvine, Calif.-based manufacturer of signal processing technology for health-care monitors – claimed Apple obtained its patents fraudulently, violated antitrust laws, engaged in false advertising, deceptive trade practices, and unfair competition in mid-December.

Massimo also alleged that Apple infringed on ten of its patents.

Among the counterclaims is the allegation that Apple used patented pulse oximetry technology developed by Masimo in the Apple Watch Series 6, 7, and 8, as well as the Apple Watch Ultra.

Masimo’s pulse oximetry technology was stolen by a former engineer in November, according to a California federal judge.

After working at Apple for a time, the engineer launched True Wearables Inc., a company that sells the Oxxiom device “in its current form, which includes trade secrets.”

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP represents Masimo, while Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP represents Apple.

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