Shock Apple Watch ruling could ban the device in the US, but it’s unlikely

Apple Watch Series 7Source: Stephen Warwick / iMore

An International Trade Commission has agreed that Apple may have infringed AliveCor’s patented technology related to the EKG feature in Apple Watch, a ruling that could lead to the device being banned in the U.S.

AliveCor announced in a press release on monday

AliveCor, the global leader in FDA-approved personal electrocardiogram (ECG) technology, today announced that International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Judge (ALJ) Cameron Elliot has made an initial determination that Apple has infringed AliveCor’s patented technology. If confirmed by the full ITC, the finding of a violation by the ALJ could lead to the issuance of a limited banning order prohibiting the importation of infringing Apple Watches into the United States.

A judge ruled that Apple had indeed infringed two patents related to ECG technology in its Best Apple Watch models:

Based on the foregoing, it is my first determination that there has been a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, in importation into the United States, sale for importation, or sale within the United States. United States upon importation of certain ECG-capable portable electronic devices and components thereof in connection with the purported claims of U.S. Patents 10,638,941 and 10,595,731. There has been no violation of US Patent No. 9,572,499

The ITC case is one of a number of lawsuits and challenges that AliveCor has filed against Apple, previously accusing Apple of trying to squeeze it out of the market. A California judge ruled in March that Apple must face antitrust lawsuits filed by AliveCor. “The complainant faces several hurdles before Apple Watch shipments can be seized,” patent litigation expert Florian Mueller told iMore. “The Commission, the five-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC, would have to affirm the breach finding and reject Apple’s public interest arguments against a ban. And even then, there would be a presidential veto or the US Court of Appeals for the ban. federal circuit could suspend enforcement.” Mueller also stated that there is a chance that Apple may simply be able to “circumvent the patent”, noting that Apple won an ITC case against Samsung over four patents the Korean company simply “round-designed” end result has no impact on end users.

As both the judge’s ruling and the press release indicate, there is an outside chance that Apple Watch sales and imports could be banned in the US in an extreme case, depending on whether the ITC confirms the ALJ’s ruling. It is also possible and certainly more likely if AliveCor gains the support of the court in this regard that the two companies may have to come to some sort of settlement to reimburse AliveCor for the violation.

There is always Amazon

The latest flagship Apple Watch


Apple Watch Series 7 Render

Apple Watch Series 7

Bigger, brighter, slightly better

You can buy the Apple Watch from Amazon if you prefer. Keep in mind that you may be limited to only certain tire combinations and models on Amazon. In addition, they may have less inventory than buying directly from Apple.

We may earn a commission on purchases using our links. Learn more

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *