Following the news that the U.S. has paused an International Trade Commission ban on imports of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, the company has resumed sales of both through its retail stores, with its best Apple Watch models coming back to Apple.com later on Thursday.
Apple is currently battling an ITC ban on the import and sale of both devices, after it was ruled to have infringed on patents owned by a company named Masimo relating to the blood oxygen monitoring technology in the Apple Watch. The company preemptively paused sales of both in anticipation that President Biden would not veto the measure. However, it has since appealed the ruling, and the US Court of Appeals has temporarily halted the ban. As such, Apple has brought both models back to its retail stores and will add them to its online outlet later today.
Bloomberg reports that Apple returned both models to shelves in its brick-and-mortar stores Wednesday and “would also resume online sales beginning Thursday by noon Pacific time.”
A brief pause
In a statement, the company said “Apple’s teams have worked tirelessly over many years to develop technology that empowers users with industry-leading health, wellness and safety features and we are pleased the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has stayed the exclusion order while it considers our request to stay the order pending our full appeal.”
According to the report, retail store sales are already underway, but it’ll be Saturday before the watch is widely available across the U.S.
In the meantime, Apple is working on a possible software fix that could change the technology used to measure blood oxygen and deliver the readings to users. The ban also impacts owners of older Apple Watch models, with the company unable to offer hardware replacements for faulty Series 6, 7, 8, and Apple Watch Ultra models.
With the Court of Appeals now involved, it’s possible a lengthy legal battle could decide the case, unless Apple meantime decides to adapt its technology so that it doesn’t infringe on Masimo’s IP, or both companies arrive at a settlement, something Masimo’s CEO has previously said seems unlikely.