Biden’s Decision on Apple Watch Availability Ends Today


The deadline is approaching for a crucial, last-minute decision to avert the removal of the latest Apple Watch models from the market. 

President Joe Biden has until the end of Christmas day to reverse a ruling by the US International Trade Commission, which prohibits the sale of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, among other newer models, due to patent infringement claims by another company. 

However, indications suggest that presidential intervention is unlikely.

In response to the ruling, Apple has already removed the implicated Watch models from its online store, and Apple Store outlets are anticipated to reopen without the latest high-end watches in stock. 

The more affordable Apple Watch SE, unaffected by the ruling, remains available for purchase. The ban specifically impacts the Apple Watch Series 6 and subsequent models, as well as all variants of the Apple Watch Ultra.

The US International Trade Commission, in October, determined that Apple had violated a pulse oximeter patent owned by Masimo, a medical device manufacturer, which utilizes light-based technology to measure blood-oxygen levels.

Apple Pulls Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches Off Shelves in Anticipation of Ruling

The deadline is approaching for a crucial, last-minute decision to avert the removal of the latest Apple Watch models from the market.

Apple, on December 18, proactively removed the Series 9 and Ultra 2 iterations of the Apple Watch from stock in anticipation of the impending ruling. 

Unless President Biden intervenes, the 60-day review period for the ITC’s decision concludes on Monday.

The company might explore the option of implementing software adjustments, potentially altering the interaction between the Apple Watch and the pulse oximeter to avoid infringing on Masimo’s patent. 

However, such modifications could be a time-consuming process, and there is no assurance that the ITC would accept Apple’s proposed solution.

Masimo’s CEO, Joe Kiani, expressed his belief to CNN that Apple deliberately violated his company’s patents. 

The two companies have been engaged in disputes for several years, with Apple filing two patent infringement lawsuits against Masimo in October 2022.

While the prospect of intervention from President Biden seems unlikely, there is precedent for such actions. In 2013, President Barack Obama intervened by vetoing an ITC ruling that sought to ban older iPhones and iPads, as the ITC had found Apple in violation of one of Samsung’s patents.

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