Today marks the enforcement of a U.S. import ban on certain Apple Watch models, specifically the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, both equipped with pulse oximeters. This follows a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding a patent infringement issue, which the Biden administration chose not to overturn. Initiated by Masimo, a medical device manufacturer, the ban targets these latest models due to alleged infringement on Masimo's blood oxygen level measuring technology patents.
Apple has ceased sales of the affected models in the U.S. and has swiftly responded by appealing the ITC's ruling and seeking an emergency stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The tech giant contends that the ITC's decision is flawed and warrants a reversal.
Further, Apple has requested a delay in the ban's implementation until the U.S. Customs and Border Protection can assess whether the redesigned versions of the watches infringe on Masimo's patents, with a determination expected by January 12th.
Amidst this legal turmoil, consumers looking for an Apple smartwatch might consider the Apple Watch Series 8, now offered on Amazon at a reduced price of $649.99, a 19% discount. This development offers a viable alternative for those affected by the recent import restrictions.