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Apple files appeal against US Ban on Apple Watch imports

apple watch ultra 2

American multinational tech giant Apple has initiated an appeal following the Biden administration’s decision to allow a United States import ban on some models of its popular Apple Watch, Reuters reported. This move comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled against Apple in a case involving patent infringements associated with blood oxygen sensing technology with medical device maker Masimo.

The conflict centers on allegations that Apple infringed on patents in the design and functionality of its Apple Watch. The ITC’s decision led to an import ban on the affected models, dealing a substantial blow to Apple’s product offerings in the U.S. market. The Biden administration, having the authority to veto such ITC decisions, opted not to intervene, thereby letting the ban take effect.

Apple’s response has been swift and assertive. The tech giant filed an appeal on Tuesday, seeking to overturn the ITC’s ruling. Additionally, Apple has submitted an emergency request to pause the ban until the U.S. Customs and Border Protection makes a final decision, due to be made on January 12, on the enforcement of the ban.

Ahead of the ban, Apple announced its plans to halt sale of  its latest Watch 9 and Ultra 2 from its website on December 21 and from physical stores on December 25. However, Apple Watch SE models, which do not have the contested blood oxygen feature, remain available for sale. Furthermore, the iPhone maker was reported to no longer offer hardware repairs for out-of-warranty Apple Watch models, starting from Series 6. However, those with models still under warranty or covered by AppleCare Plus are not impacted by these restrictions. The ban on sales and repairs will last until Apple can reach a licensing agreement with Masimo, obtain a federal reprieve, or address the patent issue, possibly through a software update.

Elsewhere, Apple unveiled its newest wearables: the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 at its annual ‘Wonderlust’ event on September 12. The Apple watch Series 9 features S9 chipset, which is equipped with a robust GPU, and starts at $399 in the United States. The company also introduced its newest iPhone 15 series at the event.

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