The US Trade Tribunal’s ban on Apple Watch imports is upheld by the Biden Administration.

Apple Watch

On December 26, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) order will go into force.

On Tuesday, the administration of US President Joe Biden decided not to override a government tribunal’s ruling that prohibited the importation of Apple Watches due to a complaint by the medical monitoring technology business Masimo.

As of December 26, the United States’ International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued an order that forbids the importation and sale of Apple Watches that use patent-infringing methods to detect blood oxygen levels. Apple’s smart watch series now includes a pulse oximeter feature, starting with the 2020 Series 6 model.

After careful consideration, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai opted not to reverse the prohibition; the ITC noted in its judgment that the agency’s decision became final on December 26.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear Apple’s appeal of the prohibition, nevertheless.

Since last week, the business has stopped selling its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the US. The less costly Apple Watch SE model is unaffected by the prohibition and will still be available for purchase. Pre-sold watches will not be subject to this restriction.

Apple has been accused by Masimo of stealing its pulse oximetry technology, taking its employees elsewhere, and incorporating it into the popular Apple Watch.

In May, a jury trial in federal court in California concerning Masimo’s claims resulted in a mistrial. Apple has filed a new lawsuit against Masimo in federal court in Delaware for patent infringement. Apple refers to Masimo’s legal actions as a “maneuver to clear a path” for its own rival smart watch.

Since 2013, when President Barack Obama’s administration reversed an import ban on Apple’s iPhones and iPads due to the company’s patent dispute with Samsung, no presidential government has vetoed an ITC verdict.

In February, the Biden administration declined to veto a separate import ban on Apple Watches due to a complaint from the medical technology company AliveCor over patent infringement. The ITC has suspended the ban for additional reasons.

As to a company report, Apple’s wearables, home, and accessories division, which encompasses the Apple Watch, AirPods earbuds, and other items, generated $8.28 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2023.


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