Apple may face import ban on its watches due to patent infringement

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On Thursday, the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that Apple infringed a patent held by Masimo, a medical-technology company. This violation could potentially result in an import ban on specific Apple Watch models.

In 2021, Massimo filed a complaint with the Commission, alleging that Apple copied the blood-oxygen measurement technology in its pulse oximeters on most new models. apple watch From 2020, starting with series 6.

According to the Commission, this decision was a violation of US trade law, and led to the issuance of a limited exclusion order. This means that import restrictions may be imposed on specific models of Apple Watch when imported into the US. Apple said it plans to appeal the agency’s decision.

The Biden administration has 60 days to decide whether to veto the import ban before the ruling takes effect.

Apple has a few possible options to avoid the ban. They can modify the software so that it no longer uses Masimo’s disputed technology, or they can negotiate a civil settlement with Masimo.

The two companies have been engaged in a legal battle over the past few years, with Massimo accusing Apple of stealing its technology and poaching its employees.

“Even the world’s largest company is not above the law,” Joe Kiani, chief executive of Masimo, said in a statement. However, according to Apple, “Massimo attempted to unfairly use the ITC to keep a potentially life-saving product from millions of American consumers while making way for its own watch that mimics Apple’s.”

Massimo is not the first company to accuse Apple of stealing technology, although Apple has never admitted to any of these allegations, and has said that most of the patents it infringes are “overly broad”. . A company called AliveCor had previously accused Apple of stealing its health-sensing technology and even sued it. However this accusation also had no negative consequences for Apple as they were able to immediately appeal and avoid the charges.

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