Last week, we reported how the most valued technology company in the world, Apple, was on the verge of facing an import and selling ban on Watch Series 9 and Watch Series Ultra 2. In a legal battle with the medical tech company Masimo Corp, the Cupertino-based giant seemingly lost a patent infringement case after the International Trade Commission ruled in favor of the former.
President Joe Biden’s Administration Didn’t Reverse The Apple Watch Ban
Apple hoped to veto the decision with the White House, but that didn’t happen. As a result, Apple can no longer sell its latest smartwatches in the United States, starting today, i.e., December 26, 2023. A statement from the Office of United States Trade, by Katherine Tai, via CNBC, says that the agency decided “not to reverse the ITC determination.”
Are The Banned Apple Watches Still Available Online?
The Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 haven’t been available on the company’s website since December 21. They were also called back from the stores on December 24. However, the ban only applies to Apple Stores, meaning users can still get them at third-party stores like Target, Best Buy, and others. It is important to mention that these retailers would also have limited stocks, as the company still can’t import the concerned devices into the United States.
The ITC banned these devices after concluding that Masimo patented the blood oxygen saturation tech used on them. However, this does not affect the sale of these devices in other markets, such as the United Kingdom or India, where the watches are readily available on the company’s official website and in stores. Nonetheless, it is a big blow to the largest company in the world, given that the Holiday season sees elevated sales.