Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales will be halted again in the U.S. starting at 5 PM tomorrow, January 18, due to the rejection of a bid by Apple to have the sales ban paused throughout its appeal of an ITC decision that found its blood oxygen feature infringe on patents by medical tech company Masimo.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied the request formally earlier today (via 9to5Mac), based on a number of factors under consideration like whether or not Apple had a good chance of succeeding in its appeal (though the court also went out of its way to note that this denial doesn’t reflect on the merits of the appeal overall).
Meanwhile, Apple has another route available to avoid a halt: U.S. Customs said earlier in the week that it would consider a software update that disabled Apple Watch blood oxygen sensing features to put the devices beyond the scope of the ITC ban, which means the company could effectively keep selling them if it pushes a firmware update to turn off all the pulse oximetry stuff.
Apple’s appeal will still continue, however, and this doesn’t mean they won’t eventually win that, which would allow for a resumption of sale with the blood oxygen features included. It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when that 5 PM ET deadline hits.
For those keeping track, this means the current Apple Watch models have now been removed from sale, resumed sales, and are pending another sales stoppage, all in under a month.