Apple Watch Import Ban Now Official, Apple Appeals Decision

Apple is now officially unable to sell the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States as the International Trade Commission's import ban has become final. This morning, the Biden administration announced that it would not veto the ban.

apple watch 9 red
The Office of the United States Trade Representative said that after "careful consultations" it was opting not to reverse the ITC's decision.

"On October 26, 2023, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Apple, Inc. infringed two patents owned by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, Inc, both based in the United States. Since 2005, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has been delegated the President's authority under Section 337 of the Trade Act of 1930 to review the ITC's decision for a 60-day period. After careful consultations, Ambassador Tai decided not to reverse the ITC's determination and the ITC's decision became final on December 26, 2023."

Apple in a statement to Reuters said that it is "taking all measures" to get the ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ and ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ back on store shelves as soon as possible.

Apple has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, and it has been working on a software solution that it hopes will allow it to resume sales.

The ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ and the ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ are not able to be sold by Apple in the United States at this time because the ITC ruled that the devices violate blood oxygen monitoring technology owned by medical device company Masimo.

The ban is limited to Apple Watch models that have a blood oxygen sensor, so the Apple Watch SE is still on sale. It also only applies to Apple retail stores in the United States, so all Apple Watch models are still available in other countries. Stores like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart are able to continue Apple Watch sales as long as supplies hold out, but Apple is not able to bring more units into the United States from overseas.

Apple will not be able to sell the ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ or the ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ unless the appeal is successful, it settles with Masimo, or it finds a way to change the blood oxygen sensor so it is not using Masimo's patented technology.

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Top Rated Comments

satchmo Avatar
8 months ago

Here's an idea... Apple could negotiate with Massimo to license their tech... just like they do with Qualcom.
But now they're negotiating in a position of weakness.

A rare instance where Tim's arrogance and greed has come back to bite him.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
8 months ago

Very sad when we continuously bail out airlines etc that do blatant bad business.
I'm going to bet your opinion would be different if this was about a Masimo watch import ban because they were found to have infringed on 2 patents owned by Apple.

Very sad when people blindly defend Apple no matter what.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canezmd Avatar
8 months ago
Here's an idea... Apple could negotiate with Massimo to license their tech... just like they do with Qualcom.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
8 months ago
This is what happens when you have a leader that only understands money and not technology.

I mean, when is the board going to stand up and say, "You mean we can't sell a product that you spent $100 million developing because you forgot to check the patents?"
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
8 months ago
Good. If Apple is infringing on someone’s else tech, they need to secure the proper license. Unfortunately, it may cost them a lot more now, Masimo has all the leverage. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
8 months ago
Apple’s arrogance came back to punish it. I am amused at all the messages of people that a few months ago said this would *never* happen. Well guess what, it *did* happen. Hopefully Apple will learn the lesson and improve its behaviour, but I doubt it. External regulatory bodies need to keep punishing so that it does what is right: paying for using IP of other companies, opening up their phones to alternative stores, adopting standard connectors etc. It is all happening and the world is a better place because of it.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)