“Apple’s Watch Dilemma: Navigating Import Bans and Patent Disputes”

Biden Administration: Apple files appeal after Biden administration allows US ban on watch imports

Apple plans to remove the blood oxygen feature from its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in an effort to circumvent an import ban imposed amid a legal dispute with medical device company Masimo. The conflict centers around alleged patent infringement related to blood oxygen monitoring technology. Masimo contends that certain Apple Watch models violate its patents, leading to a ban on the Series 9 and Ultra 2. However, a filing revealed that US Customs and Border Protection deemed Apple’s redesign as falling outside the ban’s scope.

In response, Apple plans to eliminate the blood oxygen functionality if its appeal proves unsuccessful. Masimo acknowledged Apple’s claim that the redesigned watches lack pulse oximetry functionality, viewing it as a positive step. Apple asserts that the Series 9 and Ultra 2 are still available with the blood oxygen tool and anticipates a ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on its motion for a stay, allowing sales to continue during the appeal period, which may extend for at least a year. The initial import ban, effective from December 26, was temporarily paused by the Federal Circuit on the following day, enabling Apple to resume sales pending further legal proceedings.

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