Apple’s Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches are set to make a swift return to the US market as a federal appeals court temporarily blocks a comprehensive import ban on the tech giant’s latest smartwatches amid an ongoing patent dispute. This development follows Apple’s emergency appeal, which proved successful in overturning the ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) over a patent infringement claim.
Initially halted due to a dispute with device maker Masimo, accusing Apple of staff poaching and technology theft, the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches faced a potential setback when the White House declined to overturn the ban. However, Apple’s emergency request to the US Court of Appeals resulted in a temporary stay on the ban, allowing the company to resume sales.
Apple’s emergency motion argued for a stay on the ban until Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could evaluate redesigned versions of the watches that exclude the disputed blood-oxygen reading technology. The CBP is expected to decide by January 12.
The USITC’s ruling in October found Apple in violation of two patents owned by medical device maker Masimo, which claimed Apple had poached key staff and stolen technology related to blood-oxygen level measurement. The ban affected the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches but did not impact previously sold models or lower-cost SE versions.
Despite the ongoing legal challenges, Apple expressed strong disagreement with the USITC’s decision and exclusion order. The company is committed to restoring the availability of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches to customers in the US at the earliest.
The temporary lift on the ban allows Apple to resume selling its advanced Apple Watch models, ensuring customers have access to the full lineup for the new year. Apple’s continued legal efforts will shape the resolution of the patent dispute, with the global tech giant determined to maintain its prominent position in the smartwatch market.