Biden Administration Upholds Ban on Apple Watch Imports Over Tech Dispute

Summary

  • The Biden Administration has elected not to overrule the decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) which placed a ban on import of Apple Watches featuring disputed blood-oxygen level reading technology.
  • Medical technology firm Masimo (NASDAQ:) had alleged that Apple (AAPL) illegally incorporated its pulse oximetry technology into the latter’s watches, which led to the ban effective since December 26.
  • In addition to this, Masimo is also countering a lawsuit from Apple for patent infringement, despite facing a mistrial in its court case against Apple in California.
  • The ban dovetails with Apple’s decision to halt its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches, impacting its lucrative line of wearable goods that earned a staggering $8.28 billion in Q3 2023.

U.S. Administration Upholds ITC’s Ban Decision

The Biden administration has chosen not to revoke the ban imposed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). This ban restricts the import of Apple (NASDAQ:) Watches that employ the disputed blood-oxygen level reading technology.

Controversy in Medical Tech Innovation

On December 26, the ban took effect following a complaint lodged by medical tech company Masimo (NASDAQ:). According to Masimo, Apple (AAPL) illegally folded its pulse oximetry technology into the Apple Watch.

ITC’s final verdict

“Following meticulous consultations, Katherine Tai, the Ambassador, has opted not to reverse the ITC’s verdict. Hence, the ITC’s decision was finalized on December 26, 2023,” was announced in the agency’s decision.

Courtroom Drama

Masimo, which is embroiled in a mistrial relating to its federal court case against Apple in California, is also counter-suing Apple for violating its patent rights.

Apple’s Revenue Impact

Apple’s decision to discontinue the sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches corresponded with the ban. This move has resulted in repercussions for Apple’s profitable wearable department, which stashed away a whopping $8.28 billion in Q3 2023.

Determining the long-term impact of this ban on trading, particularly for assets related to Apple and Masimo could be crucial for future forecasts given the significant developments in courts and markets involving high-level patent and import disputes.

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