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Apple has readied modified Apple Watch models that "do not contain pulse oximetry functionality," medical technology company Masimo said in a document filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

apple-watch-series-6-blood-oxygen-monitoring-1.jpg

The filing, viewed by MacRumors, suggests that Apple will be removing the Blood Oxygen app from new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models sold in the U.S., at least temporarily. This change would allow Apple to sidestep an import and sales ban on Apple Watch models with blood oxygen sensing, which the U.S. International Trade Commission ordered last year after ruling that Apple violated Masimo's pulse oximetry patents. The ban was already temporarily paused shortly after it began last month, but it could have resumed as early as this month, which likely spurred Apple to take this measure.

Apple has started shipping modified Apple Watch models to retail stores in the U.S., according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, but it's unclear when they will go on sale. Apple has yet to respond to our request for comment.

Apple's website still advertises the Blood Oxygen app as an available feature on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 order pages in the U.S. as of writing. The feature can measure and display your body's blood oxygen percentage, and is intended for "wellness purposes only." Existing owners of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 will likely retain access to the feature, and it is not expected to be removed on models sold in other countries.

The feature's removal is likely a stopgap, as Gurman reported that Apple is preparing a software update that would adjust the Blood Oxygen app's algorithms, in an attempt to avoid Masimo's patented technology. It's unclear if this effort will be successful, and the legal battle between Apple and Masimo is likely far from over.

"Apple's claim that its redesigned watch does not contain pulse oximetry is a positive step toward accountability," a Masimo spokesperson told MacRumors. "It is especially important that one of the world's largest and most powerful companies respects the intellectual property rights of smaller companies and complies with ITC orders when it is caught infringing."

Article Link: Apple May Sell Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches Without Blood Oxygen App in U.S. Amid Patent Dispute
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,525
23,251
Now we know what that "software workaround" turned out to be. 😄 Everybody suspected there was no magic to design around the patents, otherwise Apple would have done that from the start.

Will Apple sell these crippled products at a reduced price? Who's still willing to pay the same without SpO2?
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
10,090
26,405
SoCal
So Apple taking a multi prong approach…
When is the appeals court decision due? Today or the 17th, can’t remember. So if they turn Apple down the ban will go into effect and Apple will continue to sell AWs but with SPO2 disabled via SW…
I would expect this to only effect NEW sales, not those who currently have a 9 or Ultra 2
 

I7guy

macrumors Nehalem
Nov 30, 2013
34,192
23,905
Gotta be in it to win it
Now we know what that "software workaround" turned out to be. 😄 Everybody suspected there was no magic to design around the patents, otherwise Apple would have done that from the start.

Will Apple will sell these crippled products at a reduced price? Who's still willing to pay the same without SpO2?
We will find out. My guess is no and when this is all said and done; magically the spo2 function will be enabled.
 

whiteashsaturday

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2020
42
60
watchOS 10.2 = the last software update until this mess is finished. I'm going to be cautious of upgrading my iPhone either. 17.3 gets pulled multiple times... yeah right.

apple taking away features I payed for is a no go. I know they said current users would keep the feature, but they better hold true. I use the BloodO2 reader, it was the reason I purchased the watch series 7. it is the reason I upgraded to the series 9. I like to have a "basic" bloodo2 check of my sleeping habits. something basic.. if you are in the 80-85% range, something is having an impact. normally I'm at 95-100%, but during forrest fire season, and other air pollution issues, you can see the effects.

Awould have never purchased a Masimo wrist B02 sensor, why would I want that. Why would I want their level of tech, or manufacturing. Masimo could have negotiate back when Apple came to the table, instead they lost their engineers due to lack of ability to perform at an Apple level, and now they are mad. I've yet to see the patent that they say is being broken, but a patent from 1970's should be questioned in the 2024's anyway.
 

t0rqx

macrumors 68000
Nov 27, 2021
1,577
3,670
All the fanbois here disagreeing about the firmware update that gets forced to Airpods Pro Max that downgradend the ANC.

Downgrading performances on their flagship iPhones after a year.

What kind of excuse do you have now?
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,525
23,251
We will find out. My guess is no and when this is all said and done; magically the spo2 function will be enabled.

I'd be very surprised.

The patents cover specific hardware designs for the sensors. The ITC opposition document lays out what is covered.

Nothing short of a complete redesign of the Apple Watch hardware would fix anything.
 

I7guy

macrumors Nehalem
Nov 30, 2013
34,192
23,905
Gotta be in it to win it
I'd be very surprised.

The patents cover specific hardware designs for the sensors. The ITC opposition document lays out what is covered.

Nothing short of a complete redesign of the Apple Watch hardware would fix anything.
A redesign could happen as well. And Apple may swap out the old infringing watches with the new non-infringing watches.
 
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