Apple appeals Apple Watch ban, citing 'irreparable harm' to its business

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2023

Apple has filed an "emergency motion" for an appeal against the US import ban on the Apple Watch, and pressed for an interim stay on the ruling.

Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra



Following the White House's decision not to veto the United States International Trade Commission's (USITC) ban on importing Apple Watch to the US, Apple has now filed an appeal that claims the ban will cause it to "suffer irreparable harm if the Orders are left in place." It wants the ban lifted, and separately also asks that it be dropped while the appeal is being considered.

It's an "emergency motion for an immediate interim stay," because the USITC "has stated it will require over two weeks to respond."

"Importantly," continues the filing, "the Exclusion Order Enforcement Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is scheduled to decide on January 12, 2024 whether a redesigned version of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2... falls outside the scope of the Commission's remedial orders."

"At a minimum," says Apple, "the Court should grant a stay long enough for Customs to make this decision."

The ban was imposed by the USITC as a result of the case brought against Apple by Masimo, which claims Apple effectively stole its pulse oximetry technology.

In the public version of the appeal filing (see below), there are two redacted segments regarding a redesign. While that redaction means there are no details about a redesign, it does mean that Apple has implemented some form of update that it believes mean it no longer uses the patents and technology at the center of the dispute.

Apple's argument for lifting the ban



In terms of legal issues, Apple's filing argues both that there is precedent for such an interim lifting of the ban, and that there is specific reason to allow it.

"Barring the accused Apple Watches from importation and sale ill-serves the public," says Apple, "as it deprives consumers of a product with potentially lifesaving features, researchers of a critical tool for medical research, and the broader economy of a device that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and fosters innovation."

"Finally, Masimo will not suffer any cognizable harm, as it does not sell a competing product in the United States in any meaningful quantities (if at all)," continues Apple's filing. "Tellingly, the Commission's decision acknowledged that Masimo would not suffer any significant monetary harm from a stay."

Apple has also commented to Reuters about the filing, saying it is working to resume sales of the Apple Watch.

"We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order," a spokesperson said in a statement, "and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible."

Apple Watch Masimo Itc Appeal by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd



Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Oh PULEEZE Apple, you're a $3 trillion company, there will be no irreparable harm done to you. And if there is, that should teach you to use other company's technology without permission - something you as a company is well known for going after other companies who you think is using your technology and even small mom and pop shops that have fruit in their company's name. So no sympathy for you if you lose a few sales for cheating.
    MplsPgatorguyM68000beowulfschmidtelijahgBlizzardgrandact73
  • Reply 2 of 21
    I wonder why Apple did not get it sorted out with Masimo before the ban happened. Looks like bad strategy to me...
    muthuk_vanalingamMplsPNotSoMuchwatto_cobraelijahggrandact73
  • Reply 3 of 21
    LIke a lot of things lawyers say, "irreparable harm" means little. It's just a verbal button pushed to push for a court response. The royalties that Apple may end up paying Masimo probably amount to only a fraction of one percent of its annual profits. It's Apple that's putting a big dent in its watch sales by refusing to settle and pay.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 4 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member
    inkling said:
    LIke a lot of things lawyers say, "irreparable harm" means little. It's just a verbal button pushed to push for a court response. The royalties that Apple may end up paying Masimo probably amount to only a fraction of one percent of its annual profits. It's Apple that's putting a big dent in its watch sales by refusing to settle and pay.
    You're right about the term being 'legal speak' hyperbole but as others have said, it begs the question. If an Apple Watch ban is truly so damaging, why didn't they start negotiating with Massimo earlier?
    elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 21
    thttht Posts: 5,499member
    MplsP said:
    inkling said:
    LIke a lot of things lawyers say, "irreparable harm" means little. It's just a verbal button pushed to push for a court response. The royalties that Apple may end up paying Masimo probably amount to only a fraction of one percent of its annual profits. It's Apple that's putting a big dent in its watch sales by refusing to settle and pay.
    You're right about the term being 'legal speak' hyperbole but as others have said, it begs the question. If an Apple Watch ban is truly so damaging, why didn't they start negotiating with Massimo earlier?
    Apple believes their design doesn’t infringe on Maximo’s patents or the patents can be invalidated. If so, they wouldn’t be negotiating for patent licensing with Masimo. 

    The ITC design is an import ban based on their interpretation of the 5 patents asserted by Masimo. 

    There is a separate, and earlier, set of court cases that deal directly with whether Apple infringes on Masimo’s patent and a patent appeals board trial on whether the patents are valid.

    The latter resulted in a mistrial when the jury trial resulted in a 6-1 jury vote in favor of Apple when it needed to be unanimous and the patent appeals trials seems to be waiting the ITC trial to wind down before it starts up again. 
    ronnwatto_cobratenthousandthingsdewme
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Oh PULEEZE Apple, you're a $3 trillion company, there will be no irreparable harm done to you. And if there is, that should teach you to use other company's technology without permission - something you as a company is well known for going after other companies who you think is using your technology and even small mom and pop shops that have fruit in their company's name. So no sympathy for you if you lose a few sales for cheating.
    I certainly don’t know one way or the other, but is it outside the realm of possibility that Apple did NOT use Massimo’s technology? And if hypothetically that was the case, wouldn’t Apple be opening the door to endless unwarranted claims of infringement?

    Obviously if Apple DID, then all you say is true and I’d have no argument with you.

    You do, of course, imply that you do have solid knowledge that Apple did infringe in this case…I assume you wouldn’t mind sharing your source? 
    Anilu_777Spitbathwatto_cobrachasm40domidewme
  • Reply 8 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    Probably forgotten here, but AliveCor today nodded agreement with this import ban for potentially stolen IP. They too won their ITC case against Apple, finding the Apple Watch used their patents without permission, but the ITC did not issue an exclusion order for that one. Current status is that one patent and three of it's claims still survive after Apple's challenge, so more to come on that front. 
    edited December 2023 DisillusionedByApple
  • Reply 9 of 21
    I think Apple had to wait until the administrative process ended (yesterday) and then that opened them up to going back to Court to put a stay on the ban.  It seems like in the prior case that ended in a mistrial, most of the jurors were going to side with Apple.  A new trial hasn't been set, so it makes sense for the Court to put the brakes on the import ban since the matter hasn't been fully adjudicated.
    watto_cobrachasm40domi
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Zero cares given; After getting burned by their poor battery management system and out $700 because my Apple Watch that was supposed to have a "timeless" design (pun intended) swelled a battery, popped off the sapphire display, and would cost more than the cost of the watch to repair. It would have also cost me more to file a claim of "irreparable damage" against this company who has lost their way and have also caused "irreparable damage" to other companies that they have Sherlocked.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    I’m certainly not sure whether Apple has infringed on any patents in this case, or stolen trade secrets (though I very much doubt it — optical pulse oximetry predates Masimo’s technology by quite some years). But it seems unreasonable for the US ITC to slap an import ban when:

    1. The court case ended in a mistrial, with all but one juror siding with Apple that they didn’t infringe or steal trade secrets, so there’s no legal ruling AT ALL that Apple is (or isn’t) guilty of infringing or trade secret theft;

    2. The US ITC itself noted that Masimo does not make a product that uses pulse oximetry, and thus cannot be harmed by Apple’s market dominance in that area; and

    3. in prior cases even when the ITC ruled that Apple *had* infringed, it didn’t slap a sales ban on the company; and

    4. Luring away employees is not illegal. Apple has probably produced evidence that it directed the former Masimo employees to device a NEW method to achieve the same results and avoid any Masimo patents (which is probably why the trial nearly went Apple’s way).

    So all I’m saying really is that Apple’s correct to be fighting for a stay of the sales ban until the charges are proven or disproven. Regardless of which way this goes, the US ITC overreached its authority without due process here.
    ronn40domilarryjw
  • Reply 12 of 21

    Apple has filed an "emergency motion" for an appeal against the US import ban on the Apple Watch, and pressed for an interim stay on the ruling.

    Apple Watch Ultra
    Apple Watch Ultra



    Following the White House's decision not to veto the United States International Trade Commission's (USITC) ban on importing Apple Watch to the US, Apple has now filed an appeal that claims the ban will cause it to "suffer irreparable harm if the Orders are left in place." It wants the ban lifted, and separately also asks that it be dropped while the appeal is being considered.

    It's an "emergency motion for an immediate interim stay," because the USITC "has stated it will require over two weeks to respond."

    "Importantly," continues the filing, "the Exclusion Order Enforcement Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is scheduled to decide on January 12, 2024 whether a redesigned version of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2... falls outside the scope of the Commission's remedial orders."

    "At a minimum," says Apple, "the Court should grant a stay long enough for Customs to make this decision."

    The ban was imposed by the USITC as a result of the case brought against Apple by Masimo, which claims Apple effectively stole its pulse oximetry technology.

    In the public version of the appeal filing (see below), there are two redacted segments regarding a redesign. While that redaction means there are no details about a redesign, it does mean that Apple has implemented some form of update that it believes mean it no longer uses the patents and technology at the center of the dispute.

    Apple's argument for lifting the ban



    In terms of legal issues, Apple's filing argues both that there is precedent for such an interim lifting of the ban, and that there is specific reason to allow it.

    "Barring the accused Apple Watches from importation and sale ill-serves the public," says Apple, "as it deprives consumers of a product with potentially lifesaving features, researchers of a critical tool for medical research, and the broader economy of a device that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and fosters innovation."

    "Finally, Masimo will not suffer any cognizable harm, as it does not sell a competing product in the United States in any meaningful quantities (if at all)," continues Apple's filing. "Tellingly, the Commission's decision acknowledged that Masimo would not suffer any significant monetary harm from a stay."

    Apple has also commented to Reuters about the filing, saying it is working to resume sales of the Apple Watch.

    "We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order," a spokesperson said in a statement, "and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible."

    Apple Watch Masimo Itc Appeal by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd



    Read on AppleInsider
    For me until the re-trial the ITC ban is illegal, Apple will find a way around it, if not buyers will, Apple trade in Canada will be booming.
    I suspect series 9 & Ultra Sales have gone through the roof already, against all the trends, so Apple laughing all the way to the bank 🤣
    Most of the comments here are quite pathetic and ill informed.
    Massimo is playing or possibly even paying behind the scenes?
    It wouldn't be the first time a juror (or a government official) got bough off in a trial that needed a unanimous verdict. It only cost John Gotti $60k 
  • Reply 13 of 21

    chasm said:
    I’m certainly not sure whether Apple has infringed on any patents in this case, or stolen trade secrets (though I very much doubt it — optical pulse oximetry predates Masimo’s technology by quite some years). But it seems unreasonable for the US ITC to slap an import ban when:

    1. The court case ended in a mistrial, with all but one juror siding with Apple that they didn’t infringe or steal trade secrets, so there’s no legal ruling AT ALL that Apple is (or isn’t) guilty of infringing or trade secret theft;

    2. The US ITC itself noted that Masimo does not make a product that uses pulse oximetry, and thus cannot be harmed by Apple’s market dominance in that area; and

    3. in prior cases even when the ITC ruled that Apple *had* infringed, it didn’t slap a sales ban on the company; and

    4. Luring away employees is not illegal. Apple has probably produced evidence that it directed the former Masimo employees to device a NEW method to achieve the same results and avoid any Masimo patents (which is probably why the trial nearly went Apple’s way).

    So all I’m saying really is that Apple’s correct to be fighting for a stay of the sales ban until the charges are proven or disproven. Regardless of which way this goes, the US ITC overreached its authority without due process here.
    chasm said:
    I’m certainly not sure whether Apple has infringed on any patents in this case, or stolen trade secrets (though I very much doubt it — optical pulse oximetry predates Masimo’s technology by quite some years). But it seems unreasonable for the US ITC to slap an import ban when:

    1. The court case ended in a mistrial, with all but one juror siding with Apple that they didn’t infringe or steal trade secrets, so there’s no legal ruling AT ALL that Apple is (or isn’t) guilty of infringing or trade secret theft;

    2. The US ITC itself noted that Masimo does not make a product that uses pulse oximetry, and thus cannot be harmed by Apple’s market dominance in that area; and

    3. in prior cases even when the ITC ruled that Apple *had* infringed, it didn’t slap a sales ban on the company; and

    4. Luring away employees is not illegal. Apple has probably produced evidence that it directed the former Masimo employees to device a NEW method to achieve the same results and avoid any Masimo patents (which is probably why the trial nearly went Apple’s way).

    So all I’m saying really is that Apple’s correct to be fighting for a stay of the sales ban until the charges are proven or disproven. Regardless of which way this goes, the US ITC overreached its authority without due process here.
    All I would add is that it wouldn't be the first or the last time a juror got bought off, it only cost John Gotti $60k back in the 90's.
    I would also strongly suggest FBI start a thorough investigation into the people at ITC who made this decision, especially check their bank accounts!
  • Reply 14 of 21

    Apple has filed an "emergency motion" for an appeal against the US import ban on the Apple Watch, and pressed for an interim stay on the ruling.

    Apple Watch Ultra
    Apple Watch Ultra



    Following the White House's decision not to veto the United States International Trade Commission's (USITC) ban on importing Apple Watch to the US, Apple has now filed an appeal that claims the ban will cause it to "suffer irreparable harm if the Orders are left in place." It wants the ban lifted, and separately also asks that it be dropped while the appeal is being considered.

    It's an "emergency motion for an immediate interim stay," because the USITC "has stated it will require over two weeks to respond."

    "Importantly," continues the filing, "the Exclusion Order Enforcement Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is scheduled to decide on January 12, 2024 whether a redesigned version of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2... falls outside the scope of the Commission's remedial orders."

    "At a minimum," says Apple, "the Court should grant a stay long enough for Customs to make this decision."

    The ban was imposed by the USITC as a result of the case brought against Apple by Masimo, which claims Apple effectively stole its pulse oximetry technology.

    In the public version of the appeal filing (see below), there are two redacted segments regarding a redesign. While that redaction means there are no details about a redesign, it does mean that Apple has implemented some form of update that it believes mean it no longer uses the patents and technology at the center of the dispute.

    Apple's argument for lifting the ban



    In terms of legal issues, Apple's filing argues both that there is precedent for such an interim lifting of the ban, and that there is specific reason to allow it.

    "Barring the accused Apple Watches from importation and sale ill-serves the public," says Apple, "as it deprives consumers of a product with potentially lifesaving features, researchers of a critical tool for medical research, and the broader economy of a device that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and fosters innovation."

    "Finally, Masimo will not suffer any cognizable harm, as it does not sell a competing product in the United States in any meaningful quantities (if at all)," continues Apple's filing. "Tellingly, the Commission's decision acknowledged that Masimo would not suffer any significant monetary harm from a stay."

    Apple has also commented to Reuters about the filing, saying it is working to resume sales of the Apple Watch.

    "We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order," a spokesperson said in a statement, "and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible."

    Apple Watch Masimo Itc Appeal by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd



    Read on AppleInsider
    Go get them Apple!!!
    The ban is totally illegal and without merit.
    I strongly suspect we'll see record Apple Watch sales when this quarter ends 🤣
  • Reply 15 of 21
    "Barring the accused Apple Watches from importation and sale ill-serves the public," says Apple, "as it deprives consumers of a product with potentially lifesaving features, researchers of a critical tool for medical research, and the broader economy of a device that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and fosters innovation."
    I believe the relevant term is "malarkey".

    If Apple did, in fact, infringe on Masimo's patents, then this appeal to emotion is just a way to distract from that, hoping people won't notice the man behind the curtain.

    If Apple did NOT infringe, then such an appeal is not necessary; the facts should stand on their own.

    MplsP
  • Reply 16 of 21
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    I find Apple's argument for Laches an interesting one, as well as the finding that Masimo doesn't offer comparable products in the US and only the watches in the US are banned from import. 

    Are we really discussing substantive law or politics? 

    And, Biden certainly had the chance to make a different decision more in line with substantive law rather than politics. 

    But Masimo now has a watch themselves. My guess is they wanted to compete with Apple. 

    Masimo is a company that primarily markets to health institutions so must argue their products are professional grade. Now they're moving to the consumer market. Including now an AirPod type product. Apple doesn't make that claim for their oximeter and they're a consumer market company.


  • Reply 17 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member
    tht said:
    MplsP said:
    inkling said:
    LIke a lot of things lawyers say, "irreparable harm" means little. It's just a verbal button pushed to push for a court response. The royalties that Apple may end up paying Masimo probably amount to only a fraction of one percent of its annual profits. It's Apple that's putting a big dent in its watch sales by refusing to settle and pay.
    You're right about the term being 'legal speak' hyperbole but as others have said, it begs the question. If an Apple Watch ban is truly so damaging, why didn't they start negotiating with Massimo earlier?
    Apple believes their design doesn’t infringe on Maximo’s patents or the patents can be invalidated. If so, they wouldn’t be negotiating for patent licensing with Masimo. 

    The ITC design is an import ban based on their interpretation of the 5 patents asserted by Masimo. 

    There is a separate, and earlier, set of court cases that deal directly with whether Apple infringes on Masimo’s patent and a patent appeals board trial on whether the patents are valid.

    The latter resulted in a mistrial when the jury trial resulted in a 6-1 jury vote in favor of Apple when it needed to be unanimous and the patent appeals trials seems to be waiting the ITC trial to wind down before it starts up again. 
    And as I've said before, the patents are still valid and the ITC's ruling is still in place. What anyone thinks may happen in the legal arena is irrelevant to today. All of this was known to Apple yet they apparently failed to make plans.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,422member
    Nothing new when it comes to comments. People who have a bone to pick with Apple will pile on in favor of Masimo so they feel vindicated in their distaste for Apple. Maybe Apple didn’t include the little white Apple sticker in the box the last time they bought an Apple product. Same thing on the other side, there are those who stick with Apple no matter what and ‘till death do they part.

    All I can say is that if Apple blatantly copied Masimo’s patent in plain site of everything and everyone surrounding this case it would be one of the biggest bonehead moves of all time. There is a clear breadcrumb trail back to the first time Apple and Masimo struck up a conversation around the technology involved, if in fact they did. Most companies with IP to protect don’t go blathering about their trade secrets with anyone without an NDA or similar protection in place.

    As far as bringing in Masimo employees, it’s not unusual for professionals in specific markets and problem domains to seek better employment opportunities with the competitors of their current employer. In many cases that’s the only way to move up the food chain. Very common practice. If Masimo was concerned about Apple “poaching” their employees to gain insider knowledge of their IP they would have dispatched a Seal Team of lawyers after Apple before the employee even had an Apple employee badge.

    On the Apple side, before any product goes to market it undergoes an extensive review, as a minimum, by the company’s internal legal team. If there there is any IP claims to be made on the to be released product or its constituent components all of necessary disclosures are put in place before the product hits the market to ensure that opportunities for IP collection aren’t jeopardized. Part of these processes includes an extensive search for prior art and potential infringement. Companies like Apple have teams of both lawyers and seasoned professional technologists as part of this process, so it’s not a case of a blind squirrel searching for a nut. As a publicly traded company they also have paper trails documenting all steps along the way. 

    I have a hard time believing that Apple would commit a brash act of outright patent violation in clear sight with everyone, especially Masimo, watching their every move. There’s no sneaky pilfering of cookies from the cookie jar when mom is standing right next to the cookie jar watching you. That would be plain stupid. Smack to the head. But is it possible that Apple could be that stupid? Of course it’s possible, but it’s highly unlikely given what’s at stake. Then again, I’ve always gotten the little white Apple stickers in the box, so I’m more inclined to trust Apple, even though I’ve had more than one Apple product fail me in the most miserable way. They’re not perfect, far from it, but are they really that stupid? I hope not.
    edited December 2023
  • Reply 19 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member

    chasm said:
    I’m certainly not sure whether Apple has infringed on any patents in this case, or stolen trade secrets (though I very much doubt it — optical pulse oximetry predates Masimo’s technology by quite some years). But it seems unreasonable for the US ITC to slap an import ban when:

    1. The court case ended in a mistrial, with all but one juror siding with Apple that they didn’t infringe or steal trade secrets, so there’s no legal ruling AT ALL that Apple is (or isn’t) guilty of infringing or trade secret theft;
    Which is irrelevant in the current discussion - the patents are still valid

    2. The US ITC itself noted that Masimo does not make a product that uses pulse oximetry, and thus cannot be harmed by Apple’s market dominance in that area; and
    Doesn't have a product using pulse oximetry? https://www.masimo.com/technology/co-oximetry/set/
    I work in healthcare - Massimo is a major player in pulse oximetry and part of their business is licensing their technology to other companies that make integrated monitors. 

    3. in prior cases even when the ITC ruled that Apple *had* infringed, it didn’t slap a sales ban on the company; and
    Trade bans are one tool that the ITC commission has. They chose to use it in this case.
    4. Luring away employees is not illegal. Apple has probably produced evidence that it directed the former Masimo employees to device a NEW method to achieve the same results and avoid any Masimo patents (which is probably why the trial nearly went Apple’s way).
    Your hypothetical excuses aside, this isn't about luring employees away. The ban is about patent infringement. 
    So all I’m saying really is that Apple’s correct to be fighting for a stay of the sales ban until the charges are proven or disproven. Regardless of which way this goes, the US ITC overreached its authority without due process here.
    Apple is free to fight but they have to play by the rules like everyone else. At the current time the ITO has ruled they can't import Apple Watches. How they proceed from here is up to them.

  • Reply 20 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member

    larryjw said:
    I find Apple's argument for Laches an interesting one, as well as the finding that Masimo doesn't offer comparable products in the US and only the watches in the US are banned from import. 

    Are we really discussing substantive law or politics? 

    And, Biden certainly had the chance to make a different decision more in line with substantive law rather than politics. 

    But Masimo now has a watch themselves. My guess is they wanted to compete with Apple. 

    Masimo is a company that primarily markets to health institutions so must argue their products are professional grade. Now they're moving to the consumer market. Including now an AirPod type product. Apple doesn't make that claim for their oximeter and they're a consumer market company.
    Clearly it's more about politics! It's interesting (but not surprising) reading the comments here. If the tables were turned you can bet most of the people here would be cheering the ITC for blocking the product that was competing with Apple's technology.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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