Apple Is 'Working Desperately' To Overcome Watch Import Ban With Software Redesign, Aiming For January Launch Amid Patent-Infringement Case: Report

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is strategically seeking to circumvent a ban on its popular watch models while appealing the patent-infringement ruling that led to the prohibition.

What Happened: The Apple strategy includes the development of new software, now submitted to a U.S. customs agency, which could greenlight noninfringing versions of the devices for sale as early as Jan. 12, alongside its ongoing appeal against the ITC decision, Bloomberg reported.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decreed in October that Apple had transgressed patents owned by medical device manufacturer Masimo Corp (NASDAQ:MASI), triggering a pause in the sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

The ban forced the prominent Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models off the US market over the holiday season. However, obtaining the provisional stay allowed the devices to be sold in Apple’s U.S. retail stores and online from noon Pacific Time on Thursday.

Apple is “working desperately…to try and procedurally shut down the ITC by getting a stay from somebody,” Smith R. Brittingham IV, who leads the ITC litigation practice at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, said.

Why It Matters: After the White House declined to intervene, Apple decided to appeal the ban imposed by the ITC due to a patent dispute. The ban was a result of accusations of Apple infringing on two health-technology patents owned by Masimo Corp.

The Cupertino-based giant petitioned the Federal Circuit to reconsider the ITC’s verdict and revoke its orders. The Federal Circuit temporarily halted the ban and has given the ITC until Jan. 10 to reply to Apple’s plea for a suspension that would last for the duration of the appeal.

Image Via Shutterstock

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