ITC Refuses to Grant Appeal for Delay in Import Ban, Escalating Apple Watch Patent Dispute

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Tech News Summary:
– The US International Trade Commission (ITC) rejected Apple’s petition to suspend the import ban on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9, leading to a potential outright ban in the US starting December 24th.

– Apple announced that it will remove the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 from all stores in the US by December 24, with the import ban taking effect on December 26, although third-party retailers may still sell remaining inventory after that date.

– Apple is exploring possible software changes to the watches that could allow it to bypass the ban and still has a chance of overturning the ITC decision if President Biden vetoes it, although experts consider this to be highly unlikely.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied a plea from Apple Inc. to stay a planned import ban on certain Apple Watch models, deepening the ongoing patent dispute between the tech giant and rival company, Masimo Corp.

The import ban, scheduled to take effect on July 14, stems from a ruling by the ITC in March that found Apple had violated Masimo’s patents related to health monitoring technology. Masimo, a medical device maker, has accused Apple of infringing on its patents for non-invasive blood oxygen monitoring technology.

In response to the ITC’s decision to deny the stay, Apple announced that it would appeal the ruling, seeking relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The dispute between the two companies has been ongoing for several years, with Masimo filing its complaint with the ITC in 2019, alleging that Apple had knowingly infringed on its patents. Apple has vehemently denied the allegations and has pushed back against the import ban, arguing that the ruling will harm its business and impede the sales of its popular wearable devices.

The ITC’s decision to deny the stay further complicates the legal battle between the two companies and raises the stakes for Apple as it seeks to defend its intellectual property and maintain its market dominance in the wearable technology sector.

Meanwhile, Masimo has welcomed the ITC’s decision, asserting that it is a vindication of its patents and a validation of its claims against Apple.

As the legal wrangling continues, the import ban is set to go into effect next month, potentially impacting the availability of certain Apple Watch models in the U.S. market. The outcome of the appeal and the broader implications for both companies and the wearable technology market remain to be seen.

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