Apple to remove this feature from Series 9, Ultra 2 watches amid fears of US ban

Big tech company Apple is planning the redesign of some of its Apple Watch models amid the ongoing row with Masimo, a medical technology company based in Southern California, that recently filed a lawsuit against Apple.

The Apple Watch will now remove one of its core features due to Masimo’s lawsuit. (AFP)(AFP)

In view of the current court battle and a likely favourable ruling for Masimo, Apple is planning to remove the blood-oxygen sensor from Apple Watch models to avoid a potential ban of their products in the United States.

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According to a court filing by Masimo on Monday, Apple will redesign two Apple Watch models, the Series 9 and Ultra 2, that would exclude the blood-oxygen sensor has been approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The court filing document didn’t disclose how Apple plans to remove the blood-oxygen sensor, although analysts have speculated the change could come through a software update.

Masimo won a favorable ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission in late October that prompted Apple to temporarily halt sales of the Apple Watch models with the blood-oxygen sensor just before Christmas. But Apple then filed an appeal of the ITC ruling that resulted in a order clearing the way for the two Apple Watch models to return to stores shortly after Christmas while the appeal is under review.

However, the final verdict regarding Masimo vs Apple has not been announced by the US Court of Appeals yet, and a ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 is still on the cards.

What is the Apple vs Masimo case?

Masimo had earlier alleged that Apple’s blood oxygen measuring feature, which was introduced in Apple Watch Series 6 onwards, has copied its patented technology. The company alleged that Apple used their unique algorithms and light sensor arrangements in their Apple Watch to display similar blood oxygen results.

Masimo also alleged that Apple has been misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information regarding their pulse oximeter technology. The company further said that Apple has poached some of its employees.

Apple, however, has denied all the allegations put up by Masimo, dismissing any wrongdoings and infringing patents by Masimo. Apple further backed that Apple Watches have life-saving abilities to detect heart problems in users, using this as a defence against the ban.

(With inputs from AP)

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