Apple’s New Apple Watches Are Back in Stores After Temporary Import Ban

Apple has announced that its flagship Apple Watch series will be available for sale in its retail stores and on its website again, following a temporary import ban.

The ban, issued by a federal appeals court, affected certain models of Apple’s popular smartwatches.

Import Ban and Apple’s Response

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) imposed an import ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and some earlier versions, as well as the Apple Watch Ultra 2, citing alleged patent infringements. However, a federal appeals court temporarily suspended the ban, allowing Apple to resume sales while the patent litigation is ongoing.

Apple wasted no time in making the announcement that the affected watches would be available for purchase again. The company stated that the complete line of Apple Watches would be offered to customers in time for the new year. Initially, the watches will be available in select Apple stores, with wider availability expected in the coming days.

Apple’s Efforts in Developing Innovative Technology

Apple emphasized its commitment to developing cutting-edge technology that prioritizes health, well-being, and safety features for its users. The company expressed its satisfaction with the federal appeals court’s decision to suspend the import ban while considering Apple’s full appeal.

Alleged Patent Violations

The ITC’s import ban targeted the Apple Watch Series 9, along with some earlier versions, and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. These models were accused of infringing on patents owned by another company, Masimo. Masimo holds the patent for a pulse oximeter, a medical device that uses light-based technology to measure blood oxygen levels.

Urgency of Apple’s Appeal

Apple swiftly filed an urgent appeal against the ITC’s resolution, which took effect earlier this week. The company argued that it could suffer irreparable harm if the ban remained in place while the appeal process unfolded. Apple contended that the ban should be lifted to allow for the redesign of the infringing Apple Watch models.

Role of the Biden Administration

The Biden administration had until the end of Christmas Day to overturn the import ban. However, the Office of the United States Trade Representative confirmed that the White House would not intervene in the matter.

Temporary Suspension Allows for Redesign

With the temporary suspension of the ITC’s ban, the US Customs and Border Protection will assess Apple’s redesigned models of the infringing watches. It is expected that this assessment will be completed by January 12th.

Apple had already removed the infringing watch models from its online store, and Apple Stores reopened without stock of the latest high-end watches. However, the Apple Watch SE, which was not subject to the ban, remained available for purchase.

Continued Sales Despite the Ban

Interestingly, the ban on imports did not prevent third-party retailers from selling the latest Apple Watch models. Retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Amazon continued to offer the watches to customers. However, with the temporary suspension of the ban, Apple has gained an initial extension, allowing it to sell its high-end smartwatches while challenging the ITC’s decision in court.

Conclusion

Apple’s new Apple Watches are once again available for sale in the United States after a temporary import ban. The federal appeals court’s decision to suspend the ban allows Apple to continue offering its flagship smartwatch line to customers.

Apple remains committed to developing innovative technology that prioritizes health, well-being, and safety features for its users. As the legal proceedings progress, customers can look forward to enjoying the latest Apple Watches.