Apple faces potential ban on Apple Watch Series 8 in US market

Apple Inc. is currently facing a ban crisis as the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in December last year that the company's Apple Watch with electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality infringed on a patent of medical device maker, AliveCor Inc. The ban is set to take effect next week, meaning that Apple's Apple Watch Series 8 smartwatch will not be available in the US market unless a solution is found.

AliveCor accused Apple of infringing on three patents related to its KardiaBand, an Apple Watch accessory that monitors a user's heart rate, detects abnormalities, and performs an ECG to identify heart problems such as atrial fibrillation. AliveCor stopped selling the KardiaBand in 2018 after Apple introduced the electrocardiogram feature to the Apple Watch. AliveCor filed an application with the US International Trade Commission last year, arguing that Apple copied its technology since the Apple Watch Series 4 and drove AliveCor out of the market by making wearOS incompatible with KardiaBand.

Apple's response to the potential ban

At present, Apple's only solution is to lobby the Biden administration to prevent the ban from taking effect. The company has hired lobbyist Shara Aranoff of Covington & Burling, a former chair of the ITC, to ensure continued sales of the Apple Watch. The Biden administration will make a decision next Monday, whether to maintain the ITC's infringement ruling or support Apple's cancellation of the relevant ban.

Apple's defense

Apple Watch Series 4 through Series 8 all have ECG technology. On December 6, 2022, at Apple's request, the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board declared the AliveCor patent invalid in a related case. The tech giant also filed a countersuit in San Francisco federal court for alleged infringement of its patents.

Post a Comment