A landmark victory was won today for the right to wear Apple Watches. In a split decision, an appeals court voted to lift the injunction previously issued by a lower court to ban the sale of Apple’s smartwatch in the United States.
The case was brought up by rival watchmaker, Xaiomi, which accused Apple of infringing on its patents. Despite being different products, Xaiomi’s Mi watch and Apple’s apple watch shared many similar design cues including the shape of the watch face, its band as well as the overall look and feel.
Xaiomi initially obtained an injunction from the district court of Northern California to ban the sale of Apple Watch in the United States. However, Apple appealed the ban and argued that Xaiomi’s claims were too broad and that the design features looked similar due to a universal design language.
The appellate court agreed with Apple’s arguments and overturned the ruling. The court’s opinion stated that Xaiomi’s claims were too broad and that the products looked alike because they all used a modern design language. The dissenting opinion argued that visual aspects could still be protected under copyright law and that Xaiomi should have been awarded the injunction.
This decision is huge win for Apple and the tech giant’s smartwatch industry, as the sale of its products can now continue unhindered in the United States. This decision almost certainly will be appealed all the way to the US supreme court. We’ll have to wait and see if the top court decides that this case warrants its attention.
Overall, this decision could have major implications for the tech industry as a whole, as intellectual property disputes become more and more common. It will be interesting to see how this decision affects both Apple and Xaiomi in the future.