US ITC opposes Apple’s motion for stay on Watch sales ban – Times of India

The US International Trade Commission, which ordered an import ban on these two Watch models – has opposed Apple’s appeal to block a ban on certain Apple Watch imports while their appeal is in progress. The ITC has urged an appeals court to reject Apple’s “weak and unconvincing” arguments that support this bid.
Apple’s “arguments amount to little more than an indisputably adjudicated infringer requesting permission to continue infringing the asserted patents,” the trade commission said in its opposition, filed in the US Court of Appeals.The trades’ commission has stated that Apple did not demonstrate the two most important factors in obtaining a stay – “likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm,”
In October 2023, the International Trade Commission (ITC) prohibited the import and sale of specific Apple Watch models in the US. The ban was imposed due to patent infringement by Masimo, a medical technology company that accused Apple of stealing trade secrets related to blood oxygen sensing technology. Masimo proposed settlement talks, but Apple reportedly showed no interest then.
The commission has stated that its late-October decision had “no legal error”, and Apple’s motion is “essentially and improperly” an attempt to challenge its factual findings. The harm that Apple claims it would suffer without a stay is unquantifiable, but rather speculative,” the commission said.
In December, Apple briefly stopped sales of two Apple Watch models in the US. However, Apple appealed the ITC’s ruling with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and received a temporary stay. This led to the ban being paused and sales resumed for the time being. In a filing on December 26 to an appeals court, Apple’s attorneys claimed that the company will suffer irreparable damage if the models are not sold during legal proceedings, and a federal appeals judge has granted permission to Apple for resuming the sales of Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 after a one-week halt over patent dispute with Masimo.
The ITC said that Apple’s argument was based on US Customs and Border Protection’s pending decision on whether certain redesigned Apple Watches infringe Masimo patents is misplaced. The commission notes that Apple’s request to sell its redesigned devices, then the company’s argument for its “reputational and goodwill harm would largely dissolve.”
Apple is reportedly working on bringing some changes to the SpO2 sensor on the two models through a software update, which it hopes should help it avoid the ban.The US Customs and Border Protection has a deadline of January 13, 2024 to take a call on modified versions of the Watch models.
The US appeals court will soon decide whether to stay the Apple Watch ban throughout the appeals process. The court will make a decision after receiving responses from all parties by January 15. If Apple’s software change is deemed insufficient and the court rejects their request for a stay, Apple would be forced to again pause the sales of Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2.

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