U.S. Authorities Uphold ITC Ruling on Apple Watch Import Ban

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled last December that the technology patents used by Apple in the Apple Watch infringed on patents belonging to AliveCor. As a result, the ITC decided to ban the import of the Apple Watch. However, the injunction was shelved during the litigation between the two companies over the patent.

Apple has been accused by AliveCor of infringing 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 an electrocardiogram feature to the Apple Watch.

AliveCor Files Application with the US International Trade Commission

AliveCor filed an application with the US International Trade Commission last year, arguing that Apple has been copying its technology since Apple Watch Series 4 and driving AliveCor out of the market by making wearOS incompatible with KardiaBand.

Apple and AliveCor Continue to Sue Over Infringement Disputes

AliveCor said on Tuesday that the Biden administration has decided not to overturn the US International Trade Commission (ITC)'s import ban on Apple's Apple Watch. An AliveCor spokesman told Reuters the company was informed by the Office of the US Trade Representative that it would not overturn the previous ITC decision. However, Apple and AliveCor will continue to sue over infringement disputes, so they will continue to shelve the ITC's previous order to ban the sale of Apple Watch.

Apple to Appeal the US International Trade Commission's Decision

Apple said on Tuesday it would appeal the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision to ban imports, arguing that the decision would negatively impact public health. The company claims that the Apple Watch is an essential health tool for millions of people around the world, and banning its import would be detrimental to public health.

Patent Dispute Between Apple and AliveCor Continues

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled the patents invalid earlier that month, and AliveCor has said it will appeal. The tech giant also filed a countersuit in San Francisco federal court for alleged infringement of its patents.

White House Representatives Yet to Comment

White House representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Neither the USTR nor the U.S. International Trade Commission commented. The White House will have the next 60 days to decide whether to overturn the ITC's Dec. 22 ruling on policy issues.

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