The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is standing firm against Apple’s plea to keep the sales of certain Apple Watch models on hold during their ongoing appeal. The ITC argues that Apple’s case lacks strength and conviction, describing it as nothing more than a request from a proven patent infringer to continue infringing.
In October, the ITC ruled that certain Apple Watch models, specifically those with blood oxygen sensing capabilities, violated patents owned by medical tech company Masimo. This resulted in a ban on the import and sale of these devices in the US Masimo accuses Apple of stealing trade secrets and poaching employees for the development of this functionality.
In response to the ITC’s ruling, Apple temporarily halted sales of affected Apple Watch models in December. However, after appealing to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Apple obtained a temporary stay, allowing sales to resume. The ITC is currently accepting responses from other parties until January 15 regarding its opposition to keeping the ban on hold.
Masimo contends that Apple’s proposed software changes may not be sufficient to address the alleged patent infringement. The US Customs and Border Protection agency is expected to rule on these changes soon, but Masimo remains skeptical, suggesting that a redesign of the Apple Watch’s hardware may be necessary for compliance.
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The ITC, in its recent filing, expressed skepticism about Apple’s reliance on a potentially favorable ruling from Customs and Border Protection. The commission argues that such a ruling would not impact the core issues of the case and could weaken Apple’s claim of ‘irreparable harm.’