Apple’s Watch Woes: Sales Pause in US Amid Patent Clash with Masimo – Speculations Mount on Biden’s Intervention

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in favor of Masimo Corp’s patent infringement claim against Apple’s $17 billion smartwatch business, specifically related to blood oxygen level monitoring technology. The decision, effective on December 25, has led to speculation about potential White House intervention.

Apple announced a pause in the sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the US due to a patent dispute over the blood oxygen feature technology. This move follows the ITC’s October order, which could prohibit Apple from importing its Apple Watches, citing violation of Masimo’s patent rights.

The ITC decision is currently under review by President Joe Biden until December 25. Apple is taking steps to comply if the ruling stands, with sales paused on its website from December 21 and at Apple retail locations after December 24. Models without the blood oxygen sensor, like the Apple Watch SE, remain unaffected.

The Office of the US Trade Representative, led by Ambassador Katherine Tai, is carefully considering all factors in the case. If not vetoed, the import ban would take effect on December 26. Masimo CEO Joe Kiani expressed openness to negotiating with Apple, emphasizing the importance of respecting intellectual property rights and maintaining public trust in the US patent system.

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