Apple Watch Sales Ban Should Be Reinstated, Argues ITC

Apple previously briefly halted the sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S. due to a patent dispute with Masimo, a California-based medical technology company. But now the saga continues.

The dispute centres around the blood oxygen sensing feature in these Apple Watch models. Following an appeal in court, Apple was granted a temporary stay, allowing the resumption of sales for the time being.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has now formally opposed Apple’s request to pause the ban for the duration of its appeal, reports MacRumors. This opposition was detailed in a document filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

According to ITC lawyers, Apple’s case for a stay pending appeal is “weak and unconvincing.” They argue that Apple, as an “indisputably adjudicated infringer,” is essentially seeking permission to continue infringing the asserted patents.

Masimo has accused Apple of misappropriating trade secrets and hiring away its employees to develop the blood oxygen sensing feature that debuted with Apple Watch Series 6 from four years ago.

Consequently, the ITC issued a ban on the sale of Apple Watch models equipped with this feature. This ban led to the temporary unavailability of the Series 9, Ultra 2, and some refurbished Series 7 and Series 8 models last month, until the ban was temporarily lifted.

With “replies in support” still being accepted until next week (January 15), Apple Watch models in question should remain available for sale at least until later this week.

Apple is said to be bringing forth a software update to address the alleged patent infringement issues. However, Masimo believes that changes to the hardware design of the Apple Watch will be necessary for compliance. Last month, Masimo expressed it would be open to settlement discussions, but as we have seen, Apple hasn’t favoured settlement, yet.

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