- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has delayed a decision on a patent dispute between Apple and Masimo until October.
- A final vote is now scheduled for Oct. 10, almost three months later than previously planned, as the ITC decided it needs more time to complete an investigation into claims that Apple is infringing Masimo’s patents on sensors.
- In a note to investors, analysts at BTIG said the delay “doesn't come as a complete surprise since we've seen similar notices extending the target date for completion over the last year.”
The ITC began investigating Apple’s use of light-based sensors to track physiological markers in 2021 after Masimo and Cercacor filed a complaint. The complaint alleged that Apple is breaching U.S. law by importing devices that infringe patents owned by the two medical device companies. In January, an ITC judge found Apple violated the law by importing Apple Watch devices with pulse oximetry capabilities.
In May, the ITC voted to review that initial determination against Apple and requested answers to a list of questions by June. The ITC sought information on how easy it would be to remove the infringing features from Apple Watch and whether “reasonable substitutes” could meet demand if supply of Apple’s device was affected.
At one time, the ITC planned to complete its investigation by April 19. The case has dragged on, though, with the ITC delaying its final vote to July 17 and now to Oct. 10. The ITC did not provide a reason for the latest delay in its notice to disclose the new deadline.
Analysts at BTIG said “were not surprised that the commission decided to review” the initial determination, and the latest delay was not “a complete surprise” either. The analysts see “potential settlements, royalty payments or other monetary-based agreements” resulting from the dispute as a “significant upside” for Masimo, which has been embroiled in a proxy battle over the future of the company.