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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 18:25 IST

Apple resumes watch sales in US after brief pause

At the heart of the matter lies a dispute over patents, with Masimo alleging that Apple's blood oxygen sensor infringed upon their intellectual property.

Digital Desk
Apple watch
Apple watch | Image:AP
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In a swift turn of events, Apple has resumed the sale of its Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 models in the United States following an interim order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, momentarily halting the U.S. International Trade Commission's (USITC) decision to ban their sales.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's temporary order prompted Apple to announce the immediate reintroduction of these wearables into stores across the nation on Wednesday, with online sales set to commence from 3 pm ET on Thursday. This action comes as Apple continues its vigorous appeal against the ban, aiming to overturn the commission's decision, as per a report from Axios.

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Here is what you need to know

Apple, renowned as the world's largest smartwatch seller, expressed its commitment to customers by striving to ensure the availability of these devices. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple's range of smartwatches accounted for nearly a third of global smartwatch purchases last year.

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The technology giant swiftly filed an emergency appeal on Tuesday against the USITC's ruling, which asserted that it had infringed upon patents owned by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, a decision finalized by the commission on December 26.

In response to the USITC's decision, Apple had preemptively ceased sales of the affected Apple Watches, removing them from its website on December 21 and from store shelves on December 24. While Apple has resumed sales, other retailers may continue selling the smartwatches from existing stock, albeit without replenishment until the patent dispute is resolved.

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What exactly is Masimo claiming?

At the heart of the matter lies a dispute over patents, with Masimo alleging that Apple's blood oxygen sensor embedded in certain Watch models infringed upon their intellectual property.

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The next crucial juncture in this legal battle revolves around the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's exclusion order enforcement branch, slated to make a determination on January 12 concerning the acceptability of Apple's proposed redesigned watches in relation to Masimo's patents.

Simultaneously, Apple's request for a stay on the order during its appeal is under consideration by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The company anticipates a hearing on its motion as soon as January 15, seeking a stay throughout the appeal process.

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"We are thrilled to return the full Apple Watch lineup to customers in time for the new year," remarked Apple in a statement Wednesday, reflecting the company's eagerness to reinstate access to its sought-after products amidst this legal dispute.

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 08:11 IST

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