Apple Watches Face Complicated Import Ban

Photo by Kleomenis Spyroglou on Unsplash

( – On Wednesday, a significant development occurred in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and the medical technology company Masimo. A federal appeals court issued a temporary suspension of the enforcement of a ruling from the International Trade Commission (ITC). This ruling had initially barred Apple from selling its latest models of the Apple Watch in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted Apple a provisional reprieve. This action by the court comes as it deliberates on whether to extend this temporary relief for a more extended period while Apple pursues an appeal against the ITC’s decision.

This legal move by Apple came swiftly on the heels of the import ban coming into effect, with the tech giant filing an emergency motion with the appeals court on Tuesday. In anticipation of the ban, Apple had preemptively ceased the sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models just before the Christmas season. This step was taken as part of the company’s strategy to prepare for the impact of the ban.

The situation was further complicated when the Biden administration, which had a 60-day window to review and potentially intervene in the decision, announced on Tuesday that it would not be taking any action in this matter.

In its appeal to the federal court, Apple emphasized the significant and potentially irreparable harm it would suffer due to the import ban. The company urged the court to provide at least a temporary stay. This would allow time for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to evaluate whether a redesigned version of the Apple Watches in question would not be subject to the ITC’s ban.

This legal tussle is rooted in a protracted patent dispute between Apple and Masimo. Masimo has leveled serious accusations against Apple, claiming that the tech giant engaged in unethical practices such as poaching employees and misappropriating trade secrets. These trade secrets are specifically related to the light-based technology Apple uses in its watches for monitoring blood oxygen levels, a crucial health metric. This latest legal development marks yet another chapter in the complex and ongoing saga between these two tech entities.