Apple Watch may be banned from entering the US

According to Reuters, the Apple Watch faces an import ban that could block shipment of the device to the US. On Thursday, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that the watch infringes the company’s patents. medical technology company Masimo. The ITC upheld a ruling issued by a judge earlier this year that found that Apple violated Masimo’s intellectual property rights for technology that measures the blood oxygen level of an Apple Watch user.
It measures the percentage of oxygen found in an Apple Watch user’s blood compared to the maximum amount it could carry. Most healthy people will have a reading between 96% and 99%. The ITC decision does not indicate which Apple Watch models would be affected by the ban. Masimo’s original complaint from 2021 said that the Apple Watch Series 6, the first model to include a blood oxygen sensor, infringed its patents. Last September, Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2.

While the original complaint notes that the Apple Watch is manufactured in China, Apple has since moved some production to Vietnam.

Despite the ITC ruling, the Biden administration will have 60 days to review the order and decide whether to veto it or not. While presidents in the past have generally allowed imports to be banned, in 2013 President Barack Obama vetoed a product ban against Apple that would have resulted in bans against US imports of AT&T versions of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G , iPad 2. 3G and iPad 3.
At that time, Apple only sold the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G. In this situation, Samsung won a court case alleging that Apple had infringed some of the manufacturer’s patents.
After the 60-day review period is over, Apple can appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. An Apple spokeswoman said: “Masimo has wrongly attempted to use the ITC to maintain a product that could save lives of million American consumers as it makes way for its own watch that copies Apple. While today’s decision has no immediate impact on Apple Watch sales, “I believe it should be reversed and we will continue our efforts to appeal.”

Joe Kiani, Masimo’s chief executive, said the decision “sends a powerful message that not even the world’s largest company is above the law.” Apple filed a separate patent infringement lawsuit against Masimo in Delaware, calling Masimo’s legal actions a “move to clear the way” for its own smartwatch.

The Apple Watch also faces an import ban in a separate case involving AliveCor. In February, the ITC issued a ban against the Apple Watch after the president upheld the ruling. However, the ruling was put on hold so that proceedings could be carried out to determine the validity of AliceCor’s patents. The company alleges that the Apple Watch’s electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor infringes on a couple of its patents.

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