Written by: Tanner Murphy

As previously reported, in October of 2023, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that certain pulse oximetry features of the Apple Watch infringed two of Masimo’s patents. Along with the infringement holding, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order, prohibiting the unlicensed entry of infringing Apple Watches into the United States. The Biden administration chose not to reverse the ITC’s decision, and Apple redesigned its watches in an attempt to circumvent the ban.

In January of this year, Apple submitted a Ruling Request to the US Customs and Border Protection in which it sought guidance as to whether modified versions of its watch still infringed the Masimo patents. The CBP handed down its ruling on January 12, holding that the newly modified watches did not infringe. Details of the watch re-design remained confidential, but a recently redacted version of the CBP’s ruling sheds light on how the re-design circumvents the ITC’s exclusion order. Specifically, a software change “prevent[s] the watch from engaging in any pulse oximetry functionality or measurement, (ii) prevent[s] the user from enabling any pulse oximetry functionality or measurement, including Blood Oxygen feature measurements or background measurements, and (iii) display[s] a screen indicating that the Blood Oxygen feature is unavailable[.]”

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