Apple Files Appeal to Lift Apple Watch Ban




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Apple filed an appeal today after the Biden administration declined to veto the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import and sale of several Apple Watch models in the U.S. The company also filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to lift the ban.

Apple lost its motion to stay a ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 sales on December 26. The International Trade Commission’s decision to ban the sale of these devices in the U.S. has been upheld, said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. The company already removed these Watch models from its online store and retail locations ahead of today’s decision. 

Apple Watch Series 6 and newer, as well as all models of Apple Watch Ultra, are banned in the U.S. over a patent dispute with medical manufacturer Mosimo. Apple Watch SE is not affected by this ruling.

In October, the International Trade Commission ruled that the watches’ violated a pulse oximeter patent held by Masimo.  The software in question reads blood-oxygen levels and is part of Apple’s health measuring features. CEO Joe Klani said Apple “deliberately infringed” on the patent. The 60-day review period ended on December 25. President Biden had until the end of Christmas Day to overturn the ITC’s ruling but did not intervene. 

Apple said it “strongly disagrees” with the order and will “take all measures” to bring the watches back to U.S. consumers. The company has submitted a new software design to U.S. Customs for its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches that don’t violate Masimo’s patent. However, the approval process is lengthy, and there’s no guarantee the ITC will rule in Apple’s favor.

The ban is only in effect in the U.S., and third-party retailers can continue to sell their current stock.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

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