The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is threatening to ban the sale of Apple Watch in the United States because the multinational has violated a patent on its electrocardiogram sensor. Apple was hoping for a veto from President Joe Biden…that has just been denied.
So the decision to ban the sale of Apple Watch on US soil is on course to be enforced. Since last December, the apple company has been seeking US President Joe Biden’s veto to block a ruling threatening to stop marketing several of its connected watches in the country. However, on Tuesday, February 14, the US government refused to bail out Apple, the US media reported The hill.
Apple should therefore stop selling the last six models of its Apple Watch (SE models not included). However, the company has not yet said the last word.
An illegal electrocardiogram sensor
Let’s go back to understand this case. December 2022 thunderbolt in Cupertino: the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) finds that Apple has infringed patents from a California startup, AliveCor, to develop the electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for its connected watches. A sensor present from the Apple Watch Series 4 specifies the specialized media Ars Technica.
Apple and AliveCor began collaborating way back in 2015, and the small company planned to release medical accessories compatible with the tech giant’s next watch. However, when the Series 4 was released in 2018, the model also blocked the use of third-party ECG technologies…forcing AliveCor to stop selling its product and accusing Apple of infringing its patents.
Replay the game against Samsung
Nevertheless, the December 2022 ITC ruling is only a recommendation. It is addressed to the US government, which has the choice of whether or not to implement it. But as reminded The hilldoes the federal state tend to respect the decision of this International Trade Commission, which is bipartisan and independent… except in 2013. In an unprecedented fashion, US President Barack Obama had blocked an ITC verdict that had already found Apple guilty of infringement of South Korean manufacturer Samsung’s patents for its iPhone and iPad.
Apple tried to play the game again and even hired the former ITC president to put pressure on the US government, says The hill. Nothing worked: Joe Biden’s administration refused to veto it.
An unlikely sales ban
Will the Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and Ultra be withdrawn from sale in the United States? We can doubt it. Firstly, because the Cupertino company wants to appeal against the verdict of the American Trade Commission, the American media report. The edge. But mainly because another court ruling found that the patents on which AliveCor bases its allegations are not valid. The Californian startup is therefore appealing against this decision.
The ban on the sale of Apple’s connected watches therefore remains in place pending these two verdicts that according to The hillmust not come out of the ground before September 2024.