The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has announced the implementation of a ban on imports of certain Apple Watches and associated components that it believes could infringe on patents related to pulse reader technology.
Recently, the USITC launched an investigation into the infringement of patents owned by Vallincourt LLC after receiving a complaint from the company at the end of 2019. Although an announcement was made in December of last year, the ban has now been officially implemented after a unanimous vote was cast by all members of the commission.
The announcement includes a ban on the import of Apple Watches and certain related components that potentially infringe on patents held by Vallincourt LLC. These devices include the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 as well as their cellular models.
The USITC has stated that Vallincourt’s patents are related to pulse reader technology. It is likely that Apple’s technology for measuring pulse rate is potentially infringing on these patents. The USITC has also stated that it will investigate further to determine if any other Apple product has infringed on Vallincourt LLC’s claimed rights.
This ban could have a significant impact on Apple’s business and its future plans for its wearables segment. Apple has yet to comment on the matter and it is expected that they will take legal action against the USITC in order to have the ban lifted. It remains to be seen what the outcome of that would be, but it could have potential implications for Apple’s ability to continue selling its smartwatch series in the US.
For now, Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 models, as well as their cellular models, will not be able to be imported to the United States until the USITC decides to lift the ban. This could affect Apple’s business in the near future and so investors will be keeping a close eye on the verdict of the investigation.