“Here’s What’s to Come in Fight over Apple Watch Import Ban” (featured quotes)

November 1, 2023

In an article published October 31, 2023, Marshall Gerstein Partner and IP Litigation Chair Benjamin (Ben) T. Horton was quoted in Law360 discussing the U.S. International Trade Commission’s decision regarding the Apple Watch. Late last month, the ITC indicated that Apple’s smartwatch poses an infringement on patents held by Masimo Corp., a medical device manufacturer. The case still has a lot of “legal wrangling,” according to Law360’s reporting, before an import ban takes effect in late December, including a possible presidential veto that would clear the way for the tech giant to continue business as usual.

Horton told Law360 in an interview that Apple is likely considering a previous presidential veto in 2013 that it received from the Obama administration over its iPhone. “I’m sure that’s what Apple is considering as giving them a puncher’s chance of having it vetoed.”

If the White House decides not to weigh in, Apple could be left with appealing the patent infringement findings and / or disabling the pulse oximeter feature in question on the Apple Watch.

Horton added that “the good news for Apple is that the patents only cover pulse oximetry, which is just one of the many things the Apple Watch can do, so the feature could seemingly be turned off, unlike in the 2013 iPhone case involving a wireless communications patent, where ‘if you turn it off, the phone wouldn't work anymore. Here, this is a very specific feature.’”

Subscribers to Law360 may read the complete article here.

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