The popular Apple Watch could potentially face an import ban in the United States due to a patent dispute with a company called Koss Corporation. 

What is the Patent Dispute About? 

Koss Corporation, a Wisconsin-based audio equipment manufacturer, claims that Apple’s smartwatches infringe on its patents for wireless headphone technology. Koss has been in the audio business for over 60 years and holds multiple patents related to wireless audio transmission. 

The company filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in March 2020, alleging that Apple’s watches use technology that infringes on Koss’s patents. According to Koss, Apple has been aware of its patents since at least 2017, but has continued to sell its watches without obtaining a license from Koss. 

What Could Happen Next? 

If the ITC finds that Apple has indeed infringed on Koss’s patents, it could issue an import ban on all Apple Watches, which are primarily manufactured in China. This means that Apple would not be allowed to import any new watches into the US for sale or distribution until it resolves the patent dispute with Koss. 

It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that Koss has taken legal action against a tech company for patent infringement. In 2019, the company filed a similar lawsuit against Bose for using its patented wireless headphone technology in its products. Bose eventually settled the case out of court and agreed to pay Koss an undisclosed amount in licensing fees. 

What Does This Mean for Apple and Its Customers? 

An import ban on Apple Watches could have a significant impact on both the company and its customers. Apple is one of the world’s largest watchmakers and the Apple Watch is “THE” revolutionary smart watch that started it all. 

In the end 

Being pioneers in multiple categories, Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation, but this lawsuit can hurt their sales and cause PR damage too. With Koss Audio playing this close to the chest it will be interesting to see how the Trillion-dollar corporation will handle the lawsuit and make amends.