Apple Watch back on sale after dramatic ban paused
January 3, 2024
WASHINGTON, DC – The Apple Watch is back on sale once more, after Apple won a pause on a dramatic ban of the wearable. In recent days, an import ban from the US government went into effect on the Apple Watch. In anticipation, Apple had removed the Watch from sale in its own stores and its website.
Now, that ban has been paused and Apple will once again add the Watch to its website and retail stores, it has said.
The ban had been the result of a dispute with Masimo, a health technology company that claimed Apple had infringed its patents related to pulse oximetry sensors, which measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The US International Trade Commission agreed with Masimo and brought in an import ban on the most recent Apple Watches.
In a four-paragraph ruling on Wednesday, the appeals court said it would halt the ban while it considers Apple‘s motion for a longer-term pause during the appeals process. The court gave the ITC until 10 January to respond to Apple‘s request.
US President Joe Biden’s administration declined to veto the ban on Tuesday, allowing it to take effect. Apple asked for a pause of the ban later that day. Apple has said it is working on a range of legal and technical options.
Recently, the company told the court that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is considering whether redesigned versions of its watches infringe Masimo’s patents and can be imported. The customs agency has set a target date of Jan. 12 for its decision, Apple said.
Apple had paused sales of the affected devices from its website and retail locations last week in the United States due to the ITC decision. They remained available at retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and Walmart.
The ban did not affect the Apple Watch SE, a less-expensive model without a pulse oximeter. Previously sold watches also were not be affected by the ban.
A jury trial on Masimo’s allegations against Apple in California federal court had ended with a mistrial in May.
Apple’s wearables, home and accessory business, which includes the Apple Watch, AirPods earbuds and other products, brought in $8.28 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2023, according to a company report.