February 22, 2024

On Thursday, the US Worldwide Commerce Fee (ITC) upheld a decide’s earlier ruling that the Apple Watch violated patents from medical know-how firm Masimo, as reported by Reuters. Though the ITC’s order might theoretically result in an eventual import ban on Apple Watch fashions, the iPhone maker nonetheless has ample alternative to keep away from that end result.

The choice stems from a lawsuit Masimo filed in 2021, accusing Apple of infringing on the smaller firm’s patents associated to light-based blood-oxygen monitoring. Apple launched the function within the Apple Watch Collection 6, its 2020 flagship smartwatch. Its 2023 fashions, together with the Apple Watch Collection 9 and Apple Watch Extremely 2, nonetheless embrace blood-oxygen sensors.

Masimo’s submitting focuses on the Apple Watch Collection 6, which the iPhone maker discontinued in 2021 following the launch of its successor. It isn’t clear whether or not or to what diploma a hypothetical import ban would have an effect on Apple’s newest variations of its flagship wearable. A federal jury took up Masimo’s allegations earlier this yr, ending in a mistrial.

The case now strikes to the White Home because the Biden administration has 60 days to resolve whether or not to veto the import ban primarily based on coverage considerations. Reuters notes that US Presidents have hardly ever rejected bans traditionally. If Biden opts to not veto, Apple can attraction the ban to the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Federal Circuit after the White Home’s overview interval expires. Different choices for the $2.6 trillion firm embrace settling with Masimo or issuing software program updates that skirt the patent.

Masimo paints the state of affairs as a victory for David vs. Goliath. “Right this moment’s ruling by the USITC sends a strong message that even the world’s largest firm will not be above the legislation,” Joe Kiani, Masimo’s CEO, wrote on Thursday. “This vital willpower is a robust validation of our efforts to carry Apple accountable for unlawfully misappropriating our patented know-how,” added Mr. Kiani.

In an announcement to Reuters, Apple framed the transfer as placing lives in danger to spice up Masimo’s product portfolio. “Masimo has wrongly tried to make use of the ITC to maintain a doubtlessly lifesaving product from tens of millions of U.S. shoppers whereas making approach for their very own watch that copies Apple,” an Apple spokesperson mentioned. “Whereas as we speak’s determination has no rapid influence on gross sales of Apple Watch, we consider it must be reversed, and can proceed our efforts to attraction.”

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