US Appeals Court Lifts Ban On Imports Of Apple Watch

Device maker Masimo had accused Apple of poaching its staff and technology.

US Appeals Court Lifts Ban On Imports Of Apple Watch

Apple's newest smart watches can now be sold in the United States after the firm submitted an urgent plea to authorities.

Sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches had been suspended in the United States due to a patent dispute.

The US trade agency has prohibited the importation and sale of Apple watches equipped with blood-oxygen-level-reading technology.

Masimo, a device manufacturer, accused Apple of stealing its employees and technology.

It comes after the White House declined to lift a ban on the sale and importation of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, which went into force this week. Apple has stated that it "strongly disagrees" with the decision.

The iPhone maker filed an emergency plea with the US Court of Appeals, which resulted in the ban being removed.

Apple "pre-emptively" pulled the gadgets from its US website and shops earlier this month. Other sales have not been affected.

The order issued by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) in October was subject to a 60-day review by the president, who has the authority to veto the decision. The review period concluded on Christmas Day when the White House chose to maintain the ban.

After "careful consultations," the office of US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai said on Tuesday that it had chosen not to alter the USITC's judgment.

Apple had requested that the prohibition be lifted until Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could investigate whether the revised versions of its watches, which do not incorporate the disputed technology, infringed on Masimo's patents.

According to an Apple spokesman, CBP was scheduled to make its decision on January 12.

In October, the USITC determined that Apple infringed on two patents owned by the medical device firm Masimo Corporation.

The California-based startup accused Apple of poaching key employees and stealing technology it created to assess oxygen levels in the blood.

Since 2020, most models of Apple's smart watches have had contentious blood oxygen functions. Its lower-priced SE variants do not. The restriction does not apply to already-sold watches.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Apple said: "We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the US as soon as possible.".