The US International Trade Commission (ITC) recommended the nation impose a limited exclusion order on Apple watches infringing patents held by medical devices company Masimo, a move which could lead to import bans for offending products.

Masimo issued a statement detailing the latest development in the legal spat between it and Apple over use of light-based pulse oximetry functionality, a feature used to measure oxygen levels.

The recommendation is subject to a 60-day Presidential review period and potential appeals.

Masimo founder and CEO Joe Kiani lauded the decision, claiming it “sends a powerful message that even the world’s largest company is not above the law”.

He added “this important determination is a strong validation of our efforts to hold Apple accountable for unlawfully misappropriating our patented technology”.

In a statement on the complaint issued in January, the medical devices company claimed the offending technology was first included in Apple’s Watch 6 in 2020 and devices released thereafter.

Reuters reported Apple responded to the ITC decision by claiming Masimo had attempted to use the body to “keep a potentially life-saving product from millions of US consumers”, adding it would attempt to get it reversed despite there being no immediate impact on its sales.