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Apple appeals ban on Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2
  Posted by: Engadget on Dec 26th, 2023 5:40 PM

Apple has filed an appeal to the International Trade Commission (ITC) attempting to reverse a ban on US sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, according to court records. The company’s also requesting an emergency stay on the ban until a decision is reached regarding proposed redesigns of both smartwatch models.

The company spoke to Reuters and said it’s “taking all measures to return” the smartwatches to US store shelves. The appeal is just one part of that. The matter even went before President Biden, with Apple hoping in vain for a veto. The ban officially goes into effect today, though Apple started pulling smartwatches from its digital and physical storefronts last week.

In today’s filing, Apple claims it will “suffer irreparable harm” if the ban continues. The Exclusion Order Enforcement Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is scheduled to make a decision on Apple’s redesigned versions of the smartwatches on January 13.

This all started when the ITC ruled that Apple infringed on blood oxygen saturation tracking technology patented by a health tech firm called Masimo. This led to Apple scrambling to issue a software fix before a ban went into effect. However, the ITC and Masimo agreed that this is a hardware issue involving the actual sensor, so software fixes wouldn’t cut it. As such, Apple is busy redesigning the sensors for the two smartwatch models. The Apple Watch SE doesn’t have a blood oxygen sensor, so it remains unimpacted by the ban.

Masimo sued Apple back in 2021 over the aforementioned patient violations and even alleged that the company poached employees with high-level knowledge of blood oxygen monitoring capabilities. It’s still possible the two companies will come to a financial agreement, putting this issue to bed.

So what does this mean for consumers looking for a bit of wrist candy? You can still buy the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in other parts of the world, as the ban only impacts the US. You can also buy the watches from third-party retailers in the US until the stock dries up. You cannot, however, purchase one of these smartwatches directly from Apple.

Apple Watch sales account for around half of the entire smartwatch market. So when the company says the ban will cause “irreparable harm”, it isn’t kidding.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

See Original Article At Engadget

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