The Legal Blog

Hi, I'm RANDI.


I help my clients secure their business success by providing easy to understand legal guidance in a supportive environment, so they can focus on achieving their full potential.  


SEARCH BY Category


business formation

business operations


intellectual property


social media

Importance of Freedom to Operate Analysis: Apple’s Costly Lesson: Millions Lost in Patent Infringement

patent infringement

share this article:

Why are we talking about Freedom to Operate?

If there’s one thing that every entrepreneur should know: patents are serious matters. 

They protect your intellectual property rights and prevent others from stealing your ideas or profiting from them without your consent. 

However, patent infringement is also a serious matter. 

It can result in costly legal battles, hefty fines, and reputational damage. 

It’s crucial to not only protect your patentable ideas. It’s also crucial to conduct a freedom to operate analysis before launching your innovation. 

Have you heard about the patent dispute between Apple and Masimo?

This is a good lesson in why freedom to operate analysis is so important before you launch your innovative product or platform. .

Apple vs. Masimo Dispute

The patent dispute between Apple and Masimo revolves around Apple’s Watch series that features a blood oxygen monitoring system. 

In October 2023, the International Trade Commission (the “ITC”) ruled that the blood oxygen monitoring features in these devices infringed two patents from Masimo, a medical device company. and issued a cease-and-desist order that prohibited Apple from importing or selling the infringing watches in the US. Apple appealed the decision, but a federal appeals court upheld the ITC’s ruling, thus reinstating the import ban and preventing Apple from selling its Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches with the blood oxygen feature turned on.

The impact of this ruling on Apple’s business is significant, given that the watch sales are estimated to be a $16 billion industry. 

The lesson here is that patent infringement can be costly, not only in terms of financial penalties but also in terms of lost revenue and damaged reputation.

Freedom to Operate Analysis (FTO)

A freedom to operate analysis can help prevent patent infringement by identifying patents or patent applications that are similar or related to your proposed product, service, or platform. 

It allows you to assess potential infringement risks, evaluate the strength of your patents, and develop strategies to avoid or mitigate infringement issues. 

By conducting a freedom to operate analysis before launching your product, service, or platform, you can avoid costly legal battles and protect your intellectual property rights.

Our FTO services provide you with the ability to make, use, or sell products or services without the constant worry of infringing on third party patents. While complete certainty may be elusive, obtaining an FTO Opinion allows you to proceed with relative confidence and peace of mind.

We Can Help – Our FTO services:

  • Mitigate the risks of facing enhanced damages by proactively addressing potential patent infringement issues.
  •  Identify potential blocking patents before investing significant development resources.
  •  Uncover opportunities for additional patenting and development, ensuring your business stays at the forefront of innovation.

Are you ready to minimize your risk of patent infringement?  Schedule time with me at Check out our contact page.

#applewatch   #masimo #patent #patentinfringement #FTO #freedomtooperate

About Sagacity Legal:
Sagacity Legal is a Florida-based firm that works with service-based small business owners, who want to minimize their legal risk so they can focus on achieving their full potential.

This article and all content herein is solely intended for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing, or communication via email or other means does not establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when a written engagement agreement is executed. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

leave a comment on this post.

previous comments

      * Testimonials found on this website are actual client reviews of Sagacity Legal PLLC. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.
    ** The information contained in this website is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter.
  *** For important disclaimer information please visit
**** This firm is registered to practice in the State of Florida and before the USPTO.
***** Sagacity Legal,  the Sagacity Legal logo, and Securing Your Success are registered trademarks of Sagacity Legal PLLC