The Adventures of Apple Watch in the USA

The Adventures of Apple Watch in the USA

Temporary Sales Ban of Apple Watches

Recently, U.S. authorities imposed a ban on Apple from selling smartwatches due to infringement of patented technologies. However, the Apple Watch devices vanished from stores for only a few days.

Patent Infringement and Sales Halt

Earlier this month, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a decision to halt sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, due to patent infringements related to blood oxygen monitoring technology owned by medical company Masimo.

Resumption of Sales Amid Legal Battle

Days later, Apple resumed the sale of its smartwatch after the U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily stayed ITC’s ban. Market observers from MacRumors predict that Apple may be able to sell the watches for most of January 2024, and possibly longer.

Apple’s Statement and Watch Availability

“We’re thrilled to bring the full range of Apple Watches back to customers for the New Year,” said a statement from the American corporation. Watches reappeared in stores on December 27, 2024, and are expected to become available on Apple’s website starting today, December 28, as promised by the company.

Litigation Proceedings and Design Disputes

Masimo sued Apple and filed a complaint with the ITC back in 2021. A year later, Apple filed a countersuit, accusing the plaintiff of stealing the Apple Watch design for its W1 device. Both companies’ products feature a square front panel and a disc-shaped charger.

ITC’s Decision and Apple’s Response

The ITC agreed that Apple had violated two of Masimo’s patents and demanded the gadgets be removed from sale. The corporation vehemently disagreed with this decision and began seeking its reversal, specifically preparing a software update for the Apple Watch that might resolve the issue.

Customs Review and Continuing Legal Efforts

The project was presented to the U.S. Customs Agency, with a decision due in January 2024. Additionally, the appellate court ordered that by January 10, 2024, the ITC must respond to Apple’s request to continue selling the smart devices.

Impact on Apple’s Shares and Market Predictions

Ben Bajarin, a leading analyst at Creative Strategies, notes that the news of the smartwatch sales ban has already affected Apple’s shares. The duration of the ban remains in question.

Analyst’s Optimism for Resolution

“I don’t think it will last an entire year, at least we hope not. I believe Apple will resolve the conflict with a software update—at least initially,” added Bajarin.

Federal Appeals Court Decision and Presidential Administration’s Stance

The Federal Appeals Court announced it will consider Apple’s request to extend the stay of the ban throughout the appeal process and will announce its decision as early as January 15, 2024. Meanwhile, the U.S. President’s administration has already declined to veto the ITC’s decision, which prohibits the import and sale of the Apple Watch in the country, due to patent violations.

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