Apple to Cease Apple Watch Sales After Losing Patent Dispute

Apple to Cease Apple Watch Sales After Losing Patent Dispute

Apple Watch Sales to Cease Due to Patent Dispute

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be withdrawn from U.S. stores this week due to a significant patent dispute loss by the manufacturer. Sales through will cease on Thursday, while retail locations will discontinue sales after December 24th. A patent infringement lawsuit filed by medical technology company Masimo accused Apple of replicating its technology in producing the latest Apple Watch models. Despite Apple’s denial of the claims, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Masimo.

Details of the Patent Infringement Allegation

The specific patent in question concerns a blood oxygen sensor created by Masimo, which Apple purportedly duplicated within its smartwatches without proper licensing. Apple has consistently refuted the claims of copying Masimo’s technology, leading to an ongoing legal struggle. A mistrial was declared by US District Judge James Selna during a May trial, as the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. Legal documents also unveiled that Apple had contemplated acquiring Masimo but ultimately hired key personnel from the company instead.

Apple to Challenge the ITC Decision

Apple is challenging the ITC’s October 2023 ruling, which found Apple guilty of patent infringement. The tech giant has called the findings of the commission erroneous and is appealing to President Joe Biden to overturn the decision. The President has until December 26th to review the ruling. Apple is pre-emptively stopping sales, likely hoping for a governmental reprieve, indicating a preference for this route over a licensing agreement. Analyst Gene Munster commented on Apple’s typical negotiation strategy, asserting the company’s penchant for tough dealings to secure better terms.

Impact of the Ban on Users and Apple’s Plans for Appeal

Apple argues that banning their smartwatches will negatively affect medical and scientific research, as well as users who depend on health-related features like ECG and blood oxygen reading. Despite the company pausing sales, Masimo’s CEO Joe Kiani regards it as a tactic to avoid addressing the patent infringement. Apple has made clear its intent to escalate the battle to the Federal Circuit
Read More