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Apple Regains Right to Sell Smartwatches in US After Court Pauses Import Ban

Highlights

  • Apple's smartwatch sales resume after court intervention.

  • Legal win affects Masimo's stock, with profound financial implications.

  • Analysts stress the reputational risk for Apple amidst ongoing legal woes.

Apple has triumphed in a legal skirmish following a U.S. appeals court decision to halt the embargo on Apple Watch imports previously enforced by the International Trade Commission (ITC). The initial embargo was a consequence of a patent infringement claim by Masimo, a medical technology entity headquartered in California. This ruling has triggered a notable decline in Masimo’s stock value.

Emergency Appeal Pays Off for Apple

In reaction to the import suspension, Apple lodged an urgent appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The appeals court has now stayed the ITC’s ruling that accused Apple of infringing on Masimo’s patents, which pertained to medical monitoring technology. Hence, Apple is positioned to restart sales of its advanced Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 in the domestic market. Masimo had accused Apple not only of infringing its patents but also of poaching its talent. Moreover, it claimed that Apple’s incorporation of the pulse oximeter technology, first debuted in the Series 6 model for blood oxygen measurement, was an infringement of its intellectual property.

Apple and Masimo Brace for Financial and PR Impact

Apple has announced the imminent availability of its latest watch models featuring the controversial blood oxygen measurement functionality. Although restricted previously by the court, these products remained accessible internationally. Apple’s delight in reinstating its full Apple Watch lineup in time for the new year is palpable. While Masimo has withheld commentary, analysts anticipate significant financial repercussions for both firms, foreseeing either a costly court settlement or the development of a technological workaround by Apple, with either outcome potentially incurring millions in expenses. Despite the potential financial burden, the negative attention from the lawsuit could be more damaging for Apple’s reputation, as indicated by industry experts.

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