Medical Research

published : 2023-12-02

Will Biden Let a Rogue Agency Ban Our Apple Watches?

The International Trade Commission (ITC) oversteps its authority, posing a threat to American free enterprise

A photo of President Biden speaking at a press conference, taken with a Nikon D850.

Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., make decisions that make life harder for average Americans without any accountability.

The administrative state, or the so-called 'fourth branch,' increasingly makes critical decisions with impunity and without the consent of the governed.

While most federal agencies are guilty of overreach, one that gets little attention is the International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC just ruled that Apple can no longer sell its wildly popular Apple Watch in the United States.

This agency is responsible for protecting the intellectual property rights of America’s private sector innovators and settling trade disputes between U.S. companies and foreign competitors.

Among its authorities is the ability to ban certain products from the American market if they are found to violate intellectual property rights or patent law.

With the ITC’s extreme enforcement mechanism, it’s become a popular setting for American companies to bring claims against other American companies in the hopes of coercing large settlement agreements.

Case in point: the ITC just ruled that Apple can no longer sell its wildly popular Apple Watch in the United States due to a claim of patent infringement from a company called Masimo.

An image of an Apple Watch device showcasing its blood oxygen monitoring feature, taken with a Canon EOS R5.

Masimo claimed that Apple infringed its patent over technology in the Apple Watch that monitors a user’s blood oxygen levels.

Masimo brought these same claims against Apple to federal court as well, which resulted in a mistrial, with the jury siding 6-1 in Apple’s favor.

By siding with Masimo, the ITC displayed a serious error in judgment.

Masimo’s claims centered on its pulse oximeter technology that’s typically used in hospitals, but the Apple Watch’s technology serves as a useful monitor for people when they aren’t in the hospital.

If Apple Watches are banned, health complications that the watch would’ve caught will go unnoticed until it’s too late – putting people’s health at risk.

By ruling in favor of Masimo in this decision, the ITC is in direct conflict with its original purpose – to protect American consumers and consider the public interest.

Now, after Dec. 25, 2023, Americans will no longer be able to buy the Apple Watch.

The Masimo case isn’t an exception to how the ITC operates and it’s alarming President Biden hasn’t done more to rein in agencies that put our economy at risk and take away a product that millions of Americans love.

A photograph of a bustling free market with various businesses competing for customers, taken with a Sony A7III.

It’s clear that this agency has strayed far from its original mission, and is now an albatross around the neck of American free enterprise.

America was founded on the principle that businesses should be free to innovate and compete in an open market, but big government policies have increasingly exerted control over the marketplace.

The government’s role is to stay out of the way and ensure fairness – not winners and losers – and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.

We need to push back against this administrative overreach and restore a truly free and fair market in our country.

The first step to preventing the ban of Apple Watches in the United States lies with the president.

If Biden truly believes that the American economy should adhere to the principles of capitalism, then he should start by vetoing the ITC’s Masimo decision – which he has until Christmas to do.

Vetoing this decision, and allowing Americans to continue purchasing the Apple Watches they clearly love and want, will send a powerful message to anti-free market government agencies.

From there, Biden needs to take real steps to rein in this agency or he’ll have to take responsibility for the detrimental impacts to our economy and American consumers.