June 14, 2024

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Apple Appeals Sales Halt: A Look at the Patent Dispute Over its Latest Smart Watches

2 min read

Apple’s Patent Dispute Over its Latest Smart Watches

Apple is facing a setback as sales of its newest smart watches in the US have been halted due to a patent dispute. The White House has declined to overturn the ban on sales and imports of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, triggering Apple to announce it will appeal the decision. The ban was imposed by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) to protect medical device maker Masimo, which accuses Apple of infringing its patents by poaching staff and technology.

Key Points:

  • Apple’s sales of Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches are halted in the US due to a patent dispute with Masimo.
  • The US International Trade Commission (USITC) imposed the ban to protect Masimo’s patents, accusing Apple of staff poaching and technology theft.
  • Apple has appealed the decision and is waiting for a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) decision on the redesigned versions of its watches.
  • The US Trade Representative has decided not to reverse the ban after “careful consultations.”

Apple’s Response and Legal Actions

Apple “strongly disagrees” with the ruling and has “pre-emptively” removed the devices from its US site and stores in the country. It has filed an emergency request to the US Court of Appeals to lift the ban. The tech giant has also asked for a stay on the ban until CBP considers whether the redesigned versions of its watches, which do not include the disputed technology, violate Masimo’s patents. CBP is expected to make a decision on this by January 12th.

USITC’s Findings and Masimo’s Response

The USITC found in October that Apple infringed two patents owned by Masimo Corporation, particularly related to technology developed for measuring oxygen levels in the blood. Masimo has welcomed the White House’s decision, stating that it is a win for the integrity of the US patent system and American consumers.

Ending Note

The outcome of the appeal and the CBP’s decision will be crucial for Apple’s ability to resume sales of its latest smart watches in the US. The ongoing dispute reflects the complexities and challenges that global tech companies face in navigating patent issues and intellectual property rights.

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