Wait, Is the Apple Watch Really About to Be Banned?

While the Apple Watch is the worldwide smartwatch leader (by a hefty margin) and touted for its health metrics, these smart tickers may be a lot harder to find domestically if a legal battle isn’t resolved soon.   Per 9to5Mac, a successful patent infringement claim by the brand AliveCor may cause the U.S. to impose an import ban on the Apple Watch.

“We applaud President Biden for upholding the ITC’s ruling and holding Apple accountable for infringing the patents that underpin our industry-leading ECG technology,” said Priya Abani, CEO of AliveCor, in a press release. “This decision goes beyond AliveCor and sends a clear message to innovators that the U.S. will protect patents to build and scale new technologies that benefit consumers.”

Apple, meanwhile, believes it will weather the legal challenge. “The patents on which AliveCor’s case rest have been found invalid, and for that reason, we should ultimately prevail in this matter,” the company said in December (though that was before the presidential non-veto).

So that issue may take a while, and most likely result in a settlement. Unfortunately for Apple, that’s not the only patent case involving the Apple Watch; per The Verge, the company Masimo has also sued Apple for allegedly infringing on five of its pulse oximetry patents, and that case could be decided by May of this year — and that, too, could end in an import ban. Or a very hefty licensing fee.

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