White House Says It’s Tracking Apple Watch Case With Ban Looming
The Ultra 2 and Series 9 models of Apple Watch are set to be banned from import and sale in the US after a ruling that they breach patents held by Masimo Corp.
The Biden administration is “tracking” the impending US ban of nearly all Apple Watch sales due to a patent dispute, with power to veto the decision resting with the US Trade Representative.
The top US trade official, Katherine Tai, is “carefully considering all of the factors in this case,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.
There is a Dec. 25 deadline for any changes to the import ban, and the White House doesn't want to “get ahead of any decisions that may come” from the trade agency, Jean-Pierre said, adding that Tai has the authority to decide the outcome of the case.
The Ultra 2 and Series 9, which make up the vast majority of Apple Inc.'s watch sales, are set to be banned from import into the US and from sale by Apple after the International Trade Commission ruled the device breaches patents held by Masimo Corp. related to blood oxygen sensing.
The US president has the authority to intervene and stop import bans, though such action is rare.
President Barack Obama did so in 2013 when the iPhone and some iPad models were set to be barred after Apple was on the losing end of a trade dispute with Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co.
In this case, Apple's dispute is not with a foreign competitor. Masimo, like Apple, is based in California.