March 26, 2024
Apple Watch Was Banned in US

9 Reasons Why Apple Watch Was Banned in US

Apple Watch Was Banned in US
Apple Watch Was Banned in US

In the latter part of 2023, discussions emerged about Why Apple Watch Was Banned in US (United States). This renowned smartwatch, crafted by the multinational giant Apple, found itself at the center of controversy due to an ongoing patent dispute. The disagreement involves two medical device companies, Masimo and AliveCor, accusing Apple of infringing upon their patents related to health monitoring. The contested areas include features such as blood oxygen level measurement and electrocardiograms (ECGs).

Reason 1: Masimo sued Apple for stealing trade secrets and violating patents

The first reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that Masimo, Apple found itself entangled in a legal dispute when Masimo, a medical technology company focusing on non-invasive monitoring equipment, accused the tech giant of trade secret theft and patent infringement. Masimo alleged that Apple, leveraging the expertise of some of its senior employees and utilizing their confidential information, developed the blood oxygen sensor for the Apple Watch.

Reason 2: AliveCor sued Apple for infringing patents on ECG technology

The second reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that AliveCor, In 2020, AliveCor, a medical device firm that specializes in personal ECG equipment, filed a lawsuit against Apple, further compounding the company’s legal problems. AliveCor claimed that Apple was violating its patents of electrocardiogram technology.

Apple Watch Was Banned in US
Apple Watch Was Banned in US

The lawsuit claimed that Apple copied AliveCor’s feature that enables users to take an ECG reading by touching the watch’s crown and the device’s back. Furthermore, AliveCor alleged that Apple violated its patents concerning the detection and analysis of irregular heart rhythms, specifically mentioning atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Reason 3: The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Masimo and AliveCor

The third reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that the US International Trade Commission (ITC), a federal agency that investigates trade-related complaints, ruled in favor of Masimo and AliveCor in 2023. The ITC found that certain models of the Apple Watch infringed Masimo’s and AliveCor’s patents, and recommended an import ban of the infringing devices into the US. The ITC also rejected Apple’s arguments that the ban would harm the public interest or the competitive conditions in the US market.

Reason 4: The Biden administration upheld the ITC’s decision and declined to overrule it

The fourth reason Apple Watch was banned in US is that the Biden administration upheld the ITC’s decision and declined to overrule it in December 2023. The administration had the power to veto the ITC’s order on policy grounds but chose not to do so. The administration’s decision showed that it respected the ITC’s authority and the protection of intellectual property rights.

Reason 5: Apple appealed the ITC’s decision to the federal court

The fifth reason Apple Watch was banned in US is that Apple appealed the ITC’s decision to the federal court in December 20236. Apple argued that the ITC’s ruling was based on erroneous findings and interpretations of the law and that the ban would cause irreparable harm to Apple and its customers. Apple also contended that Masimo’s and AliveCor’s patents were invalid and not infringed by the Apple Watch.

Reason 6: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invalidated Masimo’s and AliveCor’s patents

The sixth reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the agency that grants and examines patents, invalidated Masimo’s and AliveCor’s patents in 2023. The USPTO agreed with Apple’s challenges that the patents were obvious and anticipated by prior art, meaning that they did not meet the criteria of novelty and inventiveness. The USPTO’s decision cast doubt on the validity and enforceability of the patents that formed the basis of the ITC’s order.

Reason 7: Masimo and AliveCor appealed the USPTO’s decision to the federal court

The seventh reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that I assume you are asking about the reason why Apple Watch was banned in the US. According to the web search results, Masimo and AliveCor are two medical technology companies that claimed Apple infringed on their patents related to blood oxygen and heart rate monitoring on its Apple Watches. They appealed the USPTO’s decision to invalidate their patents to the federal court, and the court ruled in their favor, granting a preliminary injunction that prohibits Apple from importing, selling, or offering for sale its Apple Watches in the US.

Reason 8: Apple faced a significant loss of revenue and market share due to the ban

The eighth reason why Apple Watch was banned in US is that, as its largest overseas market and the source of around 20% of its overall income, China’s ban on iPhones caused Apple to suffer a huge loss of revenue and market share. The company’s shares performed the worst in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, losing about $200 billion in two days. Suppliers and partners who rely on the sales of Apple products, like Qualcomm and SK Hynix, were also impacted by the embargo. The embargo may also hurt the world economy and supply chain, as well as exacerbate trade tensions between the US and China.

Reason 9: Apple tried to find workarounds and solutions to avoid the ban

The ninth reason why Apple Watch was banned in US Apple was working on software fixes and updates to change the algorithms used for the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch, which was allegedly infringing on Masimo’s patent. Apple hoped that this would appease the regulators and avoid the import ban. However, Masimo argued that a software update would not be sufficient to resolve the patent violations and that Apple should pay for the damages and license the technology. 

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What is the reason behind the Apple Watch was banned in US?

The Apple Watch was banned in US as the result of a patent dispute between Apple and Masimo, a medical technology company that claimed Apple infringed on its patent for blood oxygen tracking on its Apple Watches. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Masimo and issued an order that would bar Apple from importing, selling, or offering for sale its Apple Watches in the US.

When will the Apple Watch ban take effect?

The Apple Watch ban will take effect on December 25, 2023, unless the Biden administration decides to veto the ITC’s order or Apple appeals the decision in court. The White House has 60 days to review the order and make its decision.

Which Apple Watch models are affected by the ban?

In a recent development, the Apple Watch ban targets the latest models, Series 9 and Ultra 2, featuring blood oxygen monitoring. Older models like Series 8 or SE1 remain unaffected. The ban results from a patent dispute with Masimo, a medical tech company. The US International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Masimo, potentially impacting Apple’s imports and sales. The ban awaits presidential review and may take effect on December 25, 2023, pending further decisions or appeals. For accurate and current details, consult reliable news sources.

How will the Apple Watch ban impact consumers and Apple?

The repercussions of the Apple Watch ban extend beyond potential buyers, affecting existing owners’ access to updates and repairs. This restriction challenges Apple’s revenue and reputation, considering the watch’s significance in its product lineup. The ban’s ripple effect may reach Apple’s suppliers and partners, impacting their reliance on Apple Watch sales. The broader implications highlight the intricate network affected by such decisions, influencing both consumers and the business ecosystem.

Is there a way to avoid the Apple Watch ban?

Depending on how the court case turns out, there are a couple of methods to get around the Apple Watch ban. To keep selling Apple Watches in the US, Apple might attempt to reach a settlement or license agreement with Masimo. To please authorities and prevent patent infringement, Apple might perhaps look for a workaround or a way to modify the blood oxygen sensor’s technology or algorithm. As an alternative, customers can attempt purchasing Apple Watches from other nations or areas—like Canada or Europe—where the prohibition does not apply.

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