Apple seeks appeal after US allows smart watch import ban

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Apple seeks appeal after US allows smart watch import ban
Apple says it will appeal US import ban on its latest smart watch models.

Apple says it will appeal a US ban on imports and sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches.

The move comes after the Biden Administration on Tuesday declined to take emergency action to lift restrictions over a patent dispute.

Medical device maker Masimo has accused Apple of poaching its employees and technology.

This resulted in a ban on the sale and import of the Apple watches by the US International Trade Commission.

Earlier this month, Apple "pre-emptively" removed the devices from its US site and from stores in the country. Sales elsewhere have not been affected.

The USITC order, issued in October, was subject to a 60-day review by the president, who has the power to veto the decision. That review period ended on Christmas Day.

The office of the United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai said on Tuesday that it had decided not to reverse the USITC's decision after "careful consultations".

Apple had asked for a stay on the ban until Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could consider if the redesigned versions of its watches, which does not include the disputed technology, violate Masimo's patents. CBP is due to make its decision on 12 January, according to an Apple spokesperson.

The USITC found in October that Apple infringed two patents owned by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, Inc, both based in the United States,

The California-based company had accused Apple of poaching key staff and taking other steps to steal technology it developed to measure oxygen levels in the blood.

Most versions of Apple's smart watches have included the disputed blood oxygen feature since 2020. Its lower cost SE model does not. Previously sold watches will also not be affected by the ban.

Apple says it has also filed an emergency request for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to lift the ban.

"We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order, and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the US as soon as possible," the tech giant said in a statement on Tuesday.

Masimo said the White House's decision marks a significant moment.

"This is a win for the integrity of the US patent system, and ultimately American consumers, who will benefit from an ecosystem that rewards true innovation," according to company spokesperson.

Source: BBC 

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