Apple’s Watch problems could be fixed as soon as this week if one quick fix is accepted — sales ban could be avoided completely if US customs agency accepts software update change

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Series 9 and Watch SE together
(Image credit: Future / Britta O'Boyle)

With a huge software change to the Apple Watch set to potentially solve its legal dispute with Masimo, January 12 may be monumental for Apple.

As reported by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, on January 12, a potential software fix to avoid infringing on the blood oxygen patent from Masimo could make its way onto Apple Watches. It is currently dependent on the US customs agency. If the update fails to fix the problem through, Apple is expected to arrive at the Court of Appeals on January 15 to attempt to overturn the ban entirely. 

Giving his personal opinion on the matter, Mark Gurman said “Either by a fix or by presenting a good enough case to the right judge, my belief is Apple will probably get this Apple Watch case wrapped up by the end of the month.” He then clarifies that Apple will try everything it can to resolve this dispute and might attempt to make a settlement if none of the options work. 

A long history

As reported back in January 2020, this is not the first time Masimo has accused Apple of wrongdoing. Apple was said to have met with Masimo with the idea of implementing its tech into the Apple Watch, only to poach its chief medical offer, Michael O’Reilly, who knew secrets on how Masimo operated and how it implemented its technology. According to his LinkedIn, O’Reilly did indeed leave Masimo in July 2013 for Apple, though the reasoning and purpose may be disputed. 

The Verge, just last week, posted a report comparing Masimo's case with Apple to Masimo’s case against True Wearables from 2018. The case saw Masimo claim that True Wearables infringed on its patent in regard to the wireless pulse oximeter, which it then won in December 2022. The founder of True Wearables was employed at Masimo previously — an important piece of information that helped Masimo win.

Whatever information Apple is working off, it believes it can win where True Wearables couldn’t. If January 12 goes as Apple wants, it might just do that. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.