Apple Secures Temporary Reprieve, Apple Watches Back in Stores Despite Patent Dispute

Apple Secures Temporary Reprieve, Apple Watches Back in Stores Despite Patent Dispute

In a significant turn of events, a federal appeals court has granted Apple a temporary reprieve, allowing the tech giant to resume the sale of its most advanced Apple Watch models in stores. The decision comes after a sweeping import ban was imposed on Apple’s latest smartwatches due to an ongoing patent dispute.

Apple swiftly filed an emergency appeal motion on Tuesday, challenging the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling, which took effect earlier this week. The ITC order prohibited the import of several Apple Watch models, including the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, citing patent infringement claims from another company.

Despite having until Christmas day to overturn the ban, the Biden White House opted not to intervene, leading Apple to seek legal recourse through the appeals court. The court’s temporary block on the ITC’s order enables Apple to continue selling the affected smartwatches while the patent dispute progresses through the legal system.

Apple will reintroduce the impacted watches for sale both in stores and on its website starting Thursday at noon Pacific Time, ensuring the availability of the full Apple Watch lineup for customers in time for the new year. The appeals court’s decision allows US Customs to consider Apple’s redesign of the contested Apple Watch models, with the anticipated fix slated to be implemented by January 12. Apple argued in its motion that maintaining the ban during the appeal process could result in “irreparable harm” to the company.

With this recent legal development, Apple gains a temporary reprieve, allowing the company to resume sales of its premium smartwatches while awaiting a final resolution to the patent dispute. The Federal Circuit’s order instructs the ITC not to enforce the ban “until further notice while the court considers the motion for a stay pending appeal.”

Following the ITC ruling, Apple promptly removed the implicated Watch models from its online store, and Apple Store locations opened without the latest top-of-the-line watches in stock. The ban primarily affected the Apple Watch Series 6 and later, as well as all models of the Apple Watch Ultra, while the more affordable Apple Watch SE remained unaffected.

In October, the ITC found Apple violating a pulse oximeter patent held by medical device maker Masimo. The patent involves light-based technology for reading blood-oxygen levels. Despite the import ban, third-party retailers continued to sell the restricted Apple Watch models.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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