Apple Watch Imports Banned Amidst Battle

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ITC Apple Watch Import Banning

In a groundbreaking move, the Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it would not intervene to overturn the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision to ban imports of certain Apple Watch models. This decision, part of a heated patent dispute with Masimo Corp., has left tech enthusiasts in suspense.

ITC Apple Watch Import Banning: Blood Oxygen Battle Unleashed

The ITC’s ban, effective immediately, targets the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. The gadgets, accused of infringing on Masimo’s patents related to blood oxygen level measurement, can no longer be brought into the United States.

Apple’s Defiant Stance

Apple, undeterred by the import ban, expressed vehement disagreement with the USITC decision. In a statement, the tech giant asserted its commitment to returning the disputed models to U.S. customers swiftly. Apple has lodged an appeal with the Federal Circuit and is actively exploring options, including proposing redesigned versions for approval by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Masimo’s Victory Cry

On the opposing side, Masimo hailed the ITC’s decision as a triumph for innovation and inventor rights. In a statement released on Tuesday, Masimo declared the ruling a pivotal moment for the U.S., emphasizing the win’s positive impact on the integrity of the country’s patent system.

ITC Apple Watch Import Banning: An Unprecedented Move

The White House’s decision not to veto the ITC’s exclusion order is a rare occurrence. This marks the second time in less than a year that the Biden administration has let stand an ITC decision barring Apple Watch imports, underscoring the gravity of the patent dispute.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

In 2013, the Obama administration intervened in a similar case involving Apple, vetoing an exclusion order that would have banned imports of iPhones and iPads. This historical context adds to the intrigue surrounding the ITC’s recent ruling.

ITC Apple Watch Import Banning: A Complex Web Unraveling

Masimo’s infringement suit, alleging Apple’s incorporation of its health technology, took a dramatic turn. Accusations of key personnel poaching and sensitive information access escalated the legal battle, resulting in the ITC’s finding of Apple’s infringement on two Masimo patents.

Ongoing Legal Saga

While Apple challenged the Masimo patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the board refused to review them. The ITC cleared Apple on some other patents, but the legal wrangling continues in California, where Masimo is seeking $1.85 billion in damages in a retrial tentatively set for October 2024.

Apple’s Counterpunch: Design Patents and Antitrust Claims

In a strategic countermove, Apple accused Masimo’s W1 watch of infringing its design patents in Delaware. This counter-lawsuit has ignited a fresh legal battle, with Masimo firing back, alleging Apple’s infringement on additional patents and violation of antitrust laws.

ITC Apple Watch Import Banning: The Road Ahead

As the dust settles, Apple’s fate hangs in the balance. The Federal Circuit is set to hear Apple’s appeal of the ITC’s infringement decision, while the patent dispute with AliveCor, involving heart monitor patents, remains on hold. The intricate legal web woven around the Apple Watch saga continues to captivate industry watchers.