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ITC Imposes Order with the Potential to Ban Apple Watch Imports in Ongoing Apple vs Masimo Patent Dispute

Apple Faces Patent Battle Over Apple Watch

Apple is currently involved in a patent infringement case with medical tech company Masimo over the Apple Watch. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) recently issued an order that could potentially lead to a ban on Apple Watch imports to the US.

Possibility of Apple Watch Import Ban

Earlier this year, the possibility of an import ban on the Apple Watch was already looming. The dispute revolves around the technology used for blood oxygen level monitoring on the Apple Watch. This technology was first introduced with the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020 and has been present in subsequent releases, excluding the SE models. It remains uncertain whether the ban would affect only the Series 6 or also the newer models like the Series 9 or Ultra 2.

While the ban has not gone into effect yet, it requires a presidential review. A decision on whether to veto the ban or not should be made within 60 days. Even if the ban isn’t vetoed, Apple still has the option to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The Origins of the Legal Battle

The conflict between Apple and Masimo dates back prior to 2020. In 2013, Apple expressed interest in collaborating with Masimo. However, Masimo claims that the meetings between the two companies resulted in Apple stealing information and expertise, as well as poaching some of Masimo’s employees prior to the launch of the Apple Watch. This legal battle may take time before any significant resolutions are reached. Apple has also faced a similar legal dispute with AliveCor regarding its electrocardiogram feature.

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