The iconic watch that started the smartwatch craze is in dire straits. It faces an import ban due to a patent infringement with Koss Audio that has been in the business for 60 years now.
Apple has been involved in a number of high-strung cases like this, with the Apple Watch fiasco the latest and probably the most damaging one. As the Tech Innovator struggles to get the PR damage under control, let us see why Koss Audio might have a chance of winning this trial
Koss is a Wisconsin based manufacturer that specializes in Audio equipment. They have claimed that Apple Watch’s wireless headphone tech infringes upon their patents and want to seek damages. They have been in the industry for six decades and have multiple patents regarding wireless audio transmission.
Koss have filed a lawsuit with International Trade Commission (ITC) in 2020 and have claimed that Apple did not seek any licenses before rolling out their product. Add to that the fact that Koss claims that Apple has known about the infringements since 2017. This means that Apple was aware of the infringement and decided to go ahead with its plans.
ITC will take a decision on how grave the charges are against Apple. If they find out that Apple in fact has been in violation of copyright laws then there could be an import ban imposed on the product.
The Apple Watch is designed in California but manufactured in China which makes it susceptible to an import ban. But this isn’t the first time, Koss has been involved in a lawsuit. In 2019 they went after Bose for the same issues. Bose settled out of court for an undisclosed licensing fee.
How does it affect consumers?
If the import ban is imposed, people will not be able to access the Apple Watch and there will be a shortage of the smart watch all over the country. This means that people can miss out on the opportunity of owning an Apple watch.
It will also mean huge losses for the company itself as Apple believes in “Quality over quantity”. As they do not have an alternate ready for the Series 8 watch, they will be pushing for a decision that is in their favor.
More and more things are coming to light and it will be interesting to see the final result of the trial. But as long as Koss is adamant in their demands the ITC will be the one that has a final say in the matter.