Apple Watch Ban Paused by the US Appeals Court

Apple Watch ban
In Short
  • Apple can put its flagship Apple Watch models back on sale as a US Appeals Court has put the ban on hold.
  • Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will be back on sale at Apple's online store by 12:00 PM PT on December 28.
  • The import and sale of the latest Apple Watch models was banned in the US due to a patent infringement dispute with Masimo.

Apple can once again start selling the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 as the government’s import ban imposed on the company due to a patent infringement dispute has been put on hold by the appeals court on Wednesday.

The Cupertino tech giant made an emergency filing to the US Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit to halt an order issued by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that had declared that Apple had violated patents of medical tech company Masimo.

We are thrilled to return the full Apple Watch lineup to customers in time for the new year,” said Apple in an official statement. “Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, including the blood oxygen feature, will become available for purchase again in the United States.” You can once again buy the flagship watches at Apple Stores starting today and from Apple’s website tomorrow by 12:00 PM PT.”

While the halt order is good news for Apple, it is believed to be temporary until mid-Jan to get the company through the holiday season.

Apple vs Masimo: The Battle So Far

Back in October 2023, the US ITC ruled that Apple had violated Masimo’s patents related to blood oxygen monitoring. Masimo claimed that the technology used in Apple’s new smartwatches, starting from Watch Series 6, to measure blood oxygen levels was based on their patented technology.

Although Apple did not accept this, the ITC found that the company did infringe on two of Masimo’s patents and issued an import and sale ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The sales and import ban came into effect on December 21, and Apple had no choice but to pull out its latest Apple Watch models from all its official channels – online and offline. Apple first removed the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 listings from its online store on December 21, and the same was done for physical stores on December 24.

While Apple tried everything in its power to prevent the ban, the final nail in the coffin was when President Joe Biden’s administration refused to veto the ban earlier this week, making the ban on the Apple Watch models with the blood oxygen sensor official.

Apple Watch out of warranty repairs

There is no doubt that this decision to resume Apple Watch sales will offer Apple significant relief during the holiday season and allow the company an opportunity to move forward with the legal process and possibly find an end-to-end solution.

We believe that Apple will now increase the movement of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US for distribution to third-party sellers as there is a high chance that the software fix they are planning might not get approved. What are your thoughts on this dispute?

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