US Federal Court Rejects Apple’s Appeal, Imposing Ban on Apple Watch Sales Amid Patent Infringement Claims

US Federal Court Rejects Apple’s Appeal, Imposing Ban on Apple Watch Sales Amid Patent Infringement Claims

Apple Watch Sales Ban Imminent:

A federal court has rejected Apple’s request to delay the looming ban on certain Apple Watch models, alleging patent infringement.

Consequently, all Apple stores and third-party retailers will be barred from selling the latest Series 9 and Ultra 2 models with the blood oxygen feature starting at 5 pm EST.

The only available Apple Watch in the US will be the budget SE model, potentially resulting in a substantial revenue loss for Apple.

Background on Patent Infringement Claims:

The ban follows allegations that Apple copied patented medical technology from the California-based biotech company Masimo.

The original ban, slated for December 26, was temporarily lifted after Apple requested a hold during the appeals process.

The legal proceedings exclusively impact Apple Watch sales in the US, constituting 42 percent of its overall revenue from North America last year.

Contentions and Counterarguments:

Apple argued that maintaining the ban would harm the company, its suppliers, and the public, expressing confidence in winning the appeal.

However, the commission dismissed these arguments, characterizing them as a patent infringer seeking permission to continue infringing.

Amid this, US Customs and Border Protection suggested Apple could continue selling devices if hardware was redesigned, a process that could span months.

Potential Redesign and Industry Implications:

Apple, planning to remove the contested technology from the watches, faces potential revenue losses during a crucial period.

Industry experts estimate the redesign process could take at least three months, impacting Apple’s ability to produce and ship corrected smartwatches.

Masimo’s accusations revolve around Apple allegedly stealing its technology after failed partnership discussions in 2013.

Masimo’s Perspective and Legal History:

Masimo, valued at $6.69 billion, accuses Apple of poaching its engineers and misappropriating its sensor technology for monitoring blood oxygen saturation.

Masimo’s founder, Joe Kiani, has reportedly spent over $60 million fighting Apple in court.

The ongoing legal saga resulted in the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling against Apple in October, leading to the subsequent ban.

Presidential Intervention and Apple’s Response:

Despite Apple’s disagreement with the ban, the Biden Administration chose not to veto the ruling on patent infringements, a departure from past interventions.

Apple filed an emergency motion with the US Appeals Court in an attempt to pause the ban temporarily.

However, the halt proved to be temporary, and sales have once again been brought to a standstill.

Consumer Impact and FAQs:

The ban, effective on January 18 at 5 pm, prompts questions about consumer orders, global availability, and the timeline for redesigned models.

Apple Watch users of older models are assured that their devices should continue working, and Apple will repair Series 9 and Ultra models if under warranty.

Comments on Legal Friction and Market Implications:

The legal battle between Apple and Masimo unveils the complexities of patent disputes and their significant ramifications for both companies.

Apple’s potential revenue loss during a crucial sales period raises concerns about market dynamics and the challenges companies face in navigating legal intricacies.

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