Apple Watch sales ban put on hold by U.S. appeals court

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Apple Inc. won a ruling temporarily pausing a U.S. International Trade Commission order banning sales of some of its smartwatches in the United States while the company seeks a longer stay pending its appeal of the restriction.

An appellate court in Washington, D.C., issued the interim stay Wednesday, a day after Apple sought the delay. It gave the commission until Jan. 10 to respond to Apple’s request for a longer stay during the court challenge.

Apple, seeking to defend a business that generates roughly $17 billion a year, appealed the ban of its smartwatches after the White House refused to overturn the measure. The ban was triggered by a patent dispute with medical technology maker Masimo Corp.

The ITC determined in October that Apple violated two Masimo health-technology patents with a blood-oxygen sensor in its watches. The White House had 60 days to review the import ban, with the decision resting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Masimo shares fell as much as 6.3% on the pause.

Apple had already stopped selling its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches in its online store and US retail outlets. Online sales were halted Dec. 21, and the last day to buy a new watch at an Apple retail store was on Christmas Eve.

Apple has developed a software update for the Apple Watch that it believes will mitigate the issue. It has submitted the design of that update to the US customs agency and, in a filing Tuesday, said the government is scheduled to decide Jan. 12 whether to approve or reject the changes.

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2 thoughts on “Apple Watch sales ban put on hold by U.S. appeals court

  1. For clarification, only the two latest generations of Apple Watches are not for sale. Previous generations that do not use the blood oxygen sensor are still for sale.

    1. Apple discontinues most previous versions when they release each new version of the Apple Watch … and the blood oxygen sensor was added in version 6, released in 2020.

      The only watch you could buy from Apple was the SE, which didn’t have a blood oxygen sensor.

      They also are unable to repair those watches with the blood oxygen sensor unless you have an active warranty (AppleCare) plan.

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