One of the main features of the new Apple Watch Series 6 is the blood oxygen sensor. Exactly this one is now causing further trouble for the smartwatch manufacturer.
Long before the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 in mid-September, there were rumors about the presence of a sensor to measure blood oxygen levels. Apple and the US medical device company Masimo have been arguing in court about this technology since January 2020. The manufacturer of the new smartwatch has been accused, among other things, of obtaining trade secrets and violating several patents. At the same time, Bloomberg further reports that Apple has poached important key personnel.
Apple has been interested in Masimo’s technology since 2013 and had allegedly indicated that it had a potential collaboration with the company in mind. Instead of a cooperation, Apple decided to poach two of the company’s managers after “productive meetings,” according to Masimo.
Apple Watch Series 6: Dispute over blood oxygen sensor
After the presentation of Apple’s Watch Series 6, whose important new feature is the sensor described above, Masimo now follows up and accuses Apple of delaying the process since January. Apple is now trying to “capture the market” with the help of its power. Apple has not yet made an official statement on the recent accusations.
In the letter to the court, Masimo Chief Executive Joe Kiani said that among other things he had seen reports from consumers suggesting that the Apple Watch Series 6 could be used as a medical product. “Not only will that harm consumers themselves, it will also reduce our opportunities to sell truly clinical-grade products to consumers.” Apple itself is cautious here, in contrast to the earlier ECG feature, describing the SpO2 measurement in Series 6 merely as a wellness feature.
The medical device manufacturer wanted to find out before the introduction of the Series 6 whether the then still future Apple Watch would gain a blood oxygen sensor. Apple is said to have dismissed speculations about the feature as “internet rumors”.
Meanwhile, Apple is trying to put the dispute over the patents on hold for the time being. The iPhone manufacturer’s lawyers said on September 15th that this would be helpful, as the US Patent and Trademark Office is currently checking whether the patents are valid. Apple is striving to have the patents invalidated. This could simplify the dispute in court and “will undoubtedly reduce wasted resources”, Apple’s lawyers said.