US – The newest Apple Watch has packed in after the White House said no to jumping in last minute, resulting in it being yanked from online shops and Apple Stores running out of stock.
The Biden team has until Christmas to flip the ITC’s decision, stopping Apple from flogging specific watch models due to patent problems. But, as expected, no one’s stepped in as of the due date.
The U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, has confirmed the ITC’s decision, saying it’s set in stone from December 26, 2023.
Apple’s gone to the Federal Circuit court to challenge the ITC’s call and is figuring out legal and techie ways to get fancy watches back on the market. They’re trying to get Customs approval for revamped Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches by January 12.
Apple’s in a rush to put a temporary stop to the ban until Customs checks out the revamp. They’re saying they’ll take a big hit if the ban sticks around during their ongoing appeal.
Back in October, the ITC said Apple was stepping on Masimo’s patented pulse oximeter tech, resulting in a ban on selling certain Apple Watch models.
The cheaper Apple Watch SE is still up for grabs, no ban there, but Series 6 and newer, plus Apple Watch Ultra, are feeling the pinch.
Apple’s shouting about their commitment to making impactful stuff, not happy with the ITC’s call, and doing everything to get Series 9 and Ultra 2 back to U.S. buyers.
“Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers,” the company said in a statement.
Masimo, the patent crew, reckon Apple’s playing fast and loose with their patents, and these companies have had their fair share of legal scraps.
Even though the White House hasn’t jumped in, there’s been cases before where a president’s thrown out an ITC decision – like in 2013 when President Obama said no to a ban on older iPhones and iPads thanks to patent bother with Samsung.