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Court Decision in Apple Watch Case Will Have Serious Consequences for U.S. Commerce

WASHINGTON—On Friday, NetChoice joined an amicus brief in the case Apple v. ITC & Masimo, Inc. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In the brief, we and our co-amici, TechNet, ACT | The App Association and Chamber of Progress, support Apple and ask the court to reverse an ITC decision that would stifle innovation to the detriment of the American public. 

In October 2023, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a broad order that would prevent Apple from importing its popular product, Apple Watches, based on allegations of patent infringement by Masimo, Inc. – a business that does not have actual products in the United States. 

The ITC is limited under a rule to only allow those patentees with actual products and a true domestic market (whether their own or via license) operating in the United States to bring claims. Initiating investigations and issuing orders without this critical statutory safeguard being met, as the ITC did here, creates serious risks for U.S. businesses. 

If the order stands, it would set a worrying precedent for improperly expanding the ITC’s authority — ultimately suppressing commerce in the United States. 

In the brief with TechNet, ACT and Chamber of Progress, we make two key points and ask the court to reverse the ITC’s decision on the merits and restore the domestic industry requirement to the gatekeeping role it was meant to play:

  1. Misuse of the ITC’s powerful exclusion remedy would seriously harm domestic markets.
  2. Affirming the commission’s domestic industry finding would open the floodgates to improper exclusion orders and stifle innovation.

“If the ITC’s order stands, it would set bad precedent supporting unfounded exclusion orders that are counter to the ITC’s goal of protecting actual United States markets,” said Nicole Saad Bembridge, Associate Director of the NetChoice Litigation Center. “We ask the Court to reverse the Commission’s findings and restore the domestic industry requirement to the pro-innovation role it was meant to play.”

You can read our amicus brief submitted to the court here

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.