[Updated] Apple Watch Ban: US Court Allows These Apple Watches To Be Sold After Appeal Filed


Radhika Kajarekar

Radhika Kajarekar

Dec 28, 2023


Updated: A Federal Court has allowed Apple to sell Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, after a blanket ban was imposed earlier. Apple had to file an urgent appeal against this order.

Earlier..

Apple has lodged an appeal against a ruling that bans the import of its watches, stemming from a complaint by medical monitoring technology company Masimo. This move comes after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration chose not to intervene in the decision by a government tribunal. In response, Apple has filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to halt the ban.

[Updated] Apple Watch Ban: US Court Allows These Apple Watches To Be Sold After Appeal Filed

Apple Appeals Import Ban on Watches Amid Patent Dispute 

Masimo has accused Apple of luring away its employees, appropriating its pulse oximetry technology, and incorporating it into the Apple Watch, specifically in features related to blood-oxygen level readings. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued an order prohibiting the import and sale of Apple Watches that use technology for reading blood-oxygen levels. This has prompted Apple’s urgent response to challenge the ban.

Apple has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and simultaneously filed an emergency request for the court to suspend the ban. The tech giant is seeking a pause until U.S. Customs and Border Protection assesses redesigned versions of its watches for potential patent infringement by Masimo. The customs office is expected to make its decision by January 12. Apple contends that it strongly disagrees with the USITC decision and is taking all necessary measures to expedite the return of affected Apple Watch models to U.S. customers.

Industry Analysis and Future Implications

The ITC’s refusal to grant a pause during the appeal process has led to Apple temporarily halting the sales of its affected smartwatches in the U.S. market. Analysts anticipate that an Apple appeal could extend the final ITC case verdict by approximately another year. While typically such disputes are settled, Apple’s decision to challenge the ITC order rather than settle marks a notable departure from the norm.

This legal battle between Apple and Masimo underscores the challenges faced by tech firms in navigating patent disputes, with the potential for significant impacts on product sales and market dynamics. The outcome of this appeal could set a precedent for similar cases in the industry. The dispute reflects the high stakes involved in protecting intellectual property, especially in high-profile products such as the Apple Watch.

In a continuously evolving legal landscape, Apple’s legal strategies and the resolution of this patent dispute will be closely watched by industry observers, competitors, and consumers alike.


Radhika Kajarekar
Radhika Kajarekar
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