Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 ban comes into effect in the US

Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 ban comes into effect in the US

technology By Dec 27, 2023 No Comments

Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 Ban Imposed in the US

The US government has officially banned the import of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 over a patent dispute regarding their new blood oxygen sensor. The ban came into effect on Tuesday, December 26, after the Biden Administration declined to veto the US International Trade Commission’s (USITC) decision to restrict the wearables.

Overview of the Ban

In a statement, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said that “after careful considerations,” Ambassador Katherine Tai decided not to reverse the ITC’s decision that called for a blanket ban on the import of the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the US. The ban, anticipated for a while, prompted Apple to halt online and in-store sales of both devices in the US prior to its enforcement.

Legal Background

The ban stems from a dispute with medical technology company Masimo, which successfully claimed that Apple‘s light-based pulse-ox sensor infringed its patents. The ruling was upheld by the USITC in October and automatically sent to the White House for a 60-day presidential review window, which ended on December 25. With the Biden administration choosing not to intervene, the ban came into effect the next day.

Apple‘s Response and Legal Actions

Despite the setback, Apple has appealed the ITC’s decision in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. As reported by Reuters, the company asked the court to suspend the ban, at least until the US Customs and Border Protection decides whether the watches infringe on Masimo’s patents. Apple has issued a media statement expressing strong disagreement with the USITC decision and is actively pursuing all measures to restore the availability of the two devices in stores.

Implications and Possible Outcomes

While the ban is specific to the US, it presents a significant challenge for Apple. If the Federal Circuit doesn’t overturn the USITC’s decision, Apple may have to settle with Masimo to resume the sale of its products. This presents a potential negotiation scenario while preserving the possibility for Apple to regain market access. Additionally, the ban has sparked reactions from both companies, with Masimo hailing it as a “win for the integrity of the U.S. patent system, and ultimately American consumers.”

International Implications and Future Developments

Notably, the sales ban only applies to the US at the current time, providing reassurance to international Apple fans. However, the situation remains dynamic as legal processes unfold. Given the global reach of Apple‘s products and the significance of the US market, international stakeholders will continue to monitor the developments closely. The potential precedent set by this case could have broader implications for technology and patent disputes on an international scale.

Source: techspot

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