WASHINGTON: Apple intends to contest the US ban on its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches by filing an appeal. The decision follows the Biden Administration’s refusal to take immediate action in lifting the restrictions amid a patent dispute.
Masimo, a medical device manufacturer, alleges Apple’s recruitment of its employees and technology, leading to the ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission. Despite preemptively removing the devices from US stores, Apple’s sales elsewhere remain unaffected.
The President’s 60-day review period concluded on Christmas Day, with the US Trade Representative deciding against reversing the USITC’s ruling. Apple sought a stay on the ban until Customs and Border Protection evaluates redesigned watch versions that exclude disputed technology—a decision expected on January 12. The USITC found Apple in violation of patents held by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, both US-based entities.
Apple, based in California, refutes the allegations, stating that certain watch models, including the lower-cost SE variant without the contentious blood oxygen feature, are not affected. The tech giant has filed an emergency request with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to lift the ban.
“We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order, and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the US as soon as possible,” the tech giant said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to Masimo, the White House’s choice represents a pivotal moment.
“This is a win for the integrity of the US patent system, and ultimately American consumers, who will benefit from an ecosystem that rewards true innovation,” according to company spokesperson.