Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Once Again Available to Purchase From Apple's Online Store
Following a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals staying the Apple Watch import ban, Apple has returned the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to its online stores in the U.S., and they should also be available in some Apple retail stores.
Apple on Tuesday filed an emergency request asking for the import ban to be paused while an appeal is under way. The appeals court implemented an interim stay while it decides whether it will grant Apple's request for a stay for the entire length of the appeal, and as a result, Apple can once again sell Apple Watch models with blood oxygen sensing technology.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) has until January 10 to file a response to Apple's request for a stay, and other parties have until January 15 to submit letters supporting or opposing the import ban. Apple should be able to continue to sell the watch at least until the appeals court makes a final ruling on the stay, which will happen at some point after January 15.
If the appeals court rules in Apple's favor, the import ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will be paused for the entire duration of the appeals process. If the court does not rule in Apple's favor, the import ban will be reinstated. The appeals process could last for many months, so Apple may get a significant reprieve as it argues against the ITC's decision.
The ITC in October decided that Apple had infringed on blood oxygen sensing technology patented by Masimo, and put in place a U.S. import ban that went into effect on December 26. In preparation for the ban, Apple actually stopped sales online on December 21, and ended in-store sales after December 24.
The Biden administration had the opportunity to veto the import ban, but opted not to do so, making the import ban official. To get around the Apple Watch legal issues, Apple will need to win its appeal against Masimo, settle with Masimo, or remove the infringing blood oxygen sensing technology from the Apple Watch lineup.
The import ban only affected Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models sold in Apple retail stores and the online store in the United States. Sales in other countries have not been affected, and the Apple Watch models have continued to be available in the U.S. in stores like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy.