U.S. International Trade Commission Denies Apple’s Request to Continue Paused Apple Watch Sales
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has delivered a blow to Apple by opposing its plea to maintain the ban on Apple Watch sales. Lawyers representing the ITC have argued that the tech giant’s case is lacking and accused Apple of seeking permission to continue infringing on patents.
This means that the Apple Watch will continue to be available for purchase until at least early next week, as other parties have until January 15 to respond to the ITC’s ruling. It comes after the ITC ruled in October that certain Apple Watch models featuring blood oxygen sensing technology infringed on patents owned by Masimo. As a result, a ban on the import and sales of these models in the United States was implemented.
In addition to accusations of patent infringement, Masimo has also accused Apple of stealing trade secrets and poaching employees involved in the development of its blood oxygen sensing technology. Although Masimo expressed its willingness to engage in settlement talks last month, Apple reportedly did not show interest at the time.
In an attempt to combat the ban, Apple temporarily halted sales of the implicated Apple Watch models in December. However, the company was granted a stay after appealing the ITC’s ruling. It is currently working on implementing software changes to address the alleged patent infringement. A ruling from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expected later this week.
Masimo believes that hardware design changes are necessary for the Apple Watch to become compliant, and the ITC shares this skepticism. The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Masimo highlights the increasing importance of intellectual property rights in the technology industry. Apple will now have to navigate these challenges to ensure the continued availability of its popular smartwatch.
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