The International Trade Commission (ITC) has upheld a decision that will prohibit the sale of Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 within the United States, rejecting Apple's motion to stay the remedial orders pending an appeal. The ban constitutes a significant setback for Apple, with the company confirming it will cease sales on its website and in retail stores in alignment with the ITC's ruling.
Background of the Patent Dispute
The conflict originates from a complaint by Masimo, a medical technology firm specializing in noninvasive patient monitoring, including blood oxygen sensors. Masimo alleges that Apple incorporated its patented technology into the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 without permission. The ITC's October ruling found in favor of Masimo, moving to bar future sales and imports of the infringing products.
Next Steps and Potential Presidential Intervention
With the ITC's decision now clear, the focus shifts to the ongoing Presidential Review, which is expected to conclude on December 25. The review, initiated by the White House following the ITC's October decision, has the power to overturn the ban. However, as of the latest statements from the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, there has yet to be a clear indication of such a reversal.
The impending ban does not currently extend to third-party retailers such as Amazon, allowing them to sell through existing inventory, but they will be unable to replenish stock until the patent issues are resolved. The technology sector and Apple's customer base are now closely watching the Biden Administration's response, as it could significantly impact the availability of some of Apple's most advanced wearable technologies in the U.S. market.