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“Apple Watches Banned in U.S. for Infringing Patented Pulse Readers

The US government has recently imposed a ban on certain Apple Watches that come with patented pulse-readers which could potentially infringe upon existing patents. This movement has come following a long-running feud between two medical device companies, Apex Medical Technologies and Apple Inc. Apex Medical Technologies had previously filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc., alleging a patent infringement by the company’s newly launched Apple Watch. The original lawsuit was filed in the Central District Court of California in late July 2019. Apple had then rejected all allegations, claiming that its Apple Watch did not infringe on any patents. The dispute grew further when the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered the ban on the import/sale of certain Apple watches with Called PPG Pulse Rollers (PRRs). This was in response to Apex Medical’s complaint against the import of the allegedly patented pulse readers. Apex Medical argued that Apple’s watches infringe upon a patent held by the company for pulse-reading technology. The ITC concluded that the import and sale of certain imported Apple Watches, with Called PPG PRR, would infringe on the patent held by Apex Medical Technologies. The commission also held Apple responsible for failing to provide evidence disputing Apex Medical’s claims. In response, Apple stated that it’s disappointed with the decision of the commission and reassured its customers that its devices do not infringe upon any patents. The company also said it would work with Apex Medical Technologies on a “patent licensing agreement”. In all, this situation has been a nerve-wracking episode for the two companies involved. While all eyes are on them, it remains to be seen if a resolution can be made. If the companies are unable to resolve the dispute in time, the import ban on Apple watches could have major ramifications for the entire tech industry.