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Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Face Import Ban in the US – Apple Appeals Decision

In a significant turn of events, Apple has officially been barred from selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States due to the finalization of the International Trade Commission’s import ban. Despite Apple’s efforts, the Biden administration, as of this morning, has chosen not to overturn this decision.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative recently confirmed its decision not to reverse the International Trade Commission’s ruling, which found Apple guilty of infringing on two patents owned by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, Inc. This infringement dates back to October 26, 2023. The authority to review the ITC’s decision was delegated to the U.S. Trade Representative in 2005, and after careful consultations, the decision not to reverse the ban became final on December 26, 2023.

As a consequence of the ban, Apple is currently unable to sell the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States. The violation pertains specifically to the blood oxygen monitoring technology owned by medical device company Masimo. Notably, the ban is limited to Apple Watch models equipped with a blood oxygen sensor, sparing the Apple Watch SE from the restriction.

In response to the ban, Apple stated to Reuters, expressing its commitment to taking all necessary measures to swiftly return the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 to store shelves. Simultaneously, Apple has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. The tech giant is also actively working on a software solution aimed at enabling the resumption of sales.

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As of now, Apple Watch models with blood oxygen sensors cannot be sold in Apple retail stores in the United States. However, the ban’s scope is limited to these specific models, and the Apple Watch SE remains available for purchase. Other retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart can continue selling Apple Watch models, subject to existing supplies. Notably, the ban does not extend to sales in other countries, allowing global availability of all Apple Watch models.

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