The Apple Watch import ban is paused – for now

A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. has 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 against a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban imports of both models of the Apple Watch, which are at the heart 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-term pause on the ban during the appeals process, Reuters . This means that Apple should be able to resume Apple Watch sales on its website and in Apple Stores in the US, something that the company had stopped doing last week. Both models of the Watch were still unavailable on Apple’s website at the time of publishing. Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment from Engadget.

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

In its appeal filed on Tuesday, Apple claimed that the company will “suffer irreparable harm” if the ban continued. The company is redesigning the blood oxygen sensors in its smartwatch after both the ITC and Masimo agreed that a software fix, which the company was initially scrambling to issue, would be insufficient to resolve the patent dispute.

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Source: Engadget