Apple watch ban: Tech company fears it will suffer ‘irreparable harm’ after sales suspension upheld by White House

Apple watch ban: Tech company fears it will suffer ‘irreparable harm’ after sales suspension upheld by White House
  • PublishedDecember 27, 2023

Apple has been accused of stealing pulse oximetry technology from a medical monitoring tech company and assimilating it into its watches.

Apple has said it would suffer “irreparable harm” after the White House allowed a ban on imports on some of its watches following a dispute over the devices’ blood oxygen technology.

The tech giant is filing an emergency motion asking a court to allow it to sell two of its most popular watches – the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models – until the patent dispute against medical monitoring technology company, Masimo, is resolved.

It requested to pause the ban at least until US Customs decides whether the redesigned versions of its watches infringe Masimo’s patents.

The customs office is to make its decision on 12 January.

Masimo has accused Apple of stealing its pulse oximetry technology – used to monitor blood oxygen levels – and assimilating it into its watches.

It also claims the Californian company has convinced some of its employees to join them.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered a ban on imports and sales of models that use technology for reading blood-oxygen levels.

Apple already stopped selling the watches before the Christmas period, a move that will likely cost the company $300-400m in holiday sales, according to wealth management analyst Dan Ives.

But the multinational is predicted to generate nearly $120bn (£104bn) in sales this quarter – including the holiday period, despite the setback.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai let the ITC decision stand on Tuesday.

Previously purchased Apple Watches equipped with blood oxygen measurement aren’t affected by the ITC order.

Apple says that the ITC’s decision is based on multiple factual errors and that Masimo does not sell a competing product in the US in “meaningful quantities” and would not suffer harm if the order was curbed.


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