The Apple Watch import ban is paused – for now

A federal appeals court in Washington DC allowed Apple to continue importing the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models on Wednesday. The court’s decision comes a day after Apple filed an appeal against a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban imports of both Apple Watch models, which are at the center of a patent dispute.

The court’s ruling is temporary. It has given the ITC until January 10 to respond to Apple’s motion for a longer pause on the ban during the appeals process. Reuters reported. This means that Apple should be able to resume Apple Watch sales on its website and in US Apple Stores, something the company had stopped doing last week. Both Watch models were not yet available on Apple’s website at the time of publication. Apple did not respond to a request for comment from Engadget.

The Watch side of Apple’s business generates about $17 billion a year. according to Bloomberg. In October, the ITC determined that Apple infringed two patents belonging to another California-based company called Masimo. Both patents revolved around the blood oxygen sensor that Apple has included in most Watch models since 2020. The ITC denied Apple’s appeal against its decision and sent the case all the way to the White House for a presidential review. President Biden, however, did not veto the ITC decision, meaning the ban officially went into effect last week.

In its appeal filed Tuesday, Apple said the company “will suffer irreparable harm” if the ban continues. The company is currently exploring redesigning the blood oxygen sensors in its smartwatch after both the ITC and Masimo agreed that a software solution, which the company was initially struggling to issue, would be insufficient to resolve the dispute. patents.

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