ITC Denies Apple's Request for a Stay on Looming Apple Watch Import Ban

The U.S. International Trade Commission today denied Apple's motion to stay a looming Apple Watch ban while Apple files for appeal [PDF via The Verge], which means one avenue avoiding a pause in sales has been exhausted.

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Apple filed the appeal on October 30, aiming to prevent an import ban from going into effect while an appeal was underway, but the ITC said no to the request. The ITC has ordered Apple to stop importing Apple Watch blood oxygen sensor equipment that infringes on patents owned by medical device company Masimo.

U.S. sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are set to stop online after 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 21. In-store sales will stop after December 24. The sales ban is limited to the United States and only impacts Apple. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and other retailers can continue to sell the ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ and Series 9 until supplies are exhausted.

The ITC implemented the import ban after deciding that Apple had indeed violated Masimo patents with the blood oxygen monitoring technology in the Apple Watch, which Masimo has been claiming for years.

Apple could avoid an import ban if the White House vetoes the ITC's decision, but it is so far looking like that might not happen. The White House has until December 25 to decide whether it will step in. Back when the iPhone was facing an import ban because of a patent dispute with Samsung, then-President Barack Obama did veto the ITC's ruling, but this time Apple is in a dispute with an American company and it is over a product that is not as pivotal as the ‌iPhone‌.

Apple is working to update the algorithms used in the Apple Watch blood oxygen sensor in an attempt to skirt the ban, and the company said that it plans to submit a workaround. While Apple thinks it can avoid patent infringement through a software update, Masimo has said that a software update will not work.

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Top Rated Comments

Sorinut Avatar
23 weeks ago

Masimo is worthless, and this FTC would likely sue to block anyway.
Worthless? Masimo has their equipment (which is not that watch you have a photo of) in every hospital in North America, and a generous slice of Europe. We (hospital I work at) buy a lot of their sensors yearly.

Hardly. Current estimates are $6-10 billion.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
23 weeks ago

Masimo is worthless, and this FTC would likely sue to block anyway.

Apple needs to countersue over this turd.


That's one of the most ignorant comments I've seen here. Masimo is FAR from worthless
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfzen21 Avatar
23 weeks ago

Worthless? Masimo has their equipment (which is not that watch you have a photo of) in every hospital in North America, and a generous slice of Europe. We (hospital I work at) buy a lot of their sensors yearly.

Hardly. Current estimates are $6-10 billion.
Please don't come to macrumors with logic and/or facts. This is not the place for that type of nonsense. ?
?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toobravetosave Avatar
23 weeks ago
Apple could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and they wouldn’t lose MacRumors customers
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
23 weeks ago
Good. It's about time Apple pays for their patent thievery
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
23 weeks ago
Apple is entering the "find out" stage.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)