Now’s the Time to Buy the Apple Watch Series 9 Before It Gets Banned Again


Everybody seems to have taken a bite out of Apple as of late, but the company was finally offered a lifeline on Wednesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals granted a stay of the ongoing Apple Watch import ban. This will last for at least the next week or so as Apple continues its appeal of the Internal Trade Commission’s sales ban.

The Cupertino tech giant is now shoving its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 series watches back onto store shelves as quickly as it possibly can after an appeals court offered it a temporary reprieve on an ongoing import ban. Apple told Gizmodo the wearables are already available for purchase again in some select stores. The items should be available in even more Apple shops by Dec. 30. In the more immediate future, Apple is set to open up sales for its online shop on Thursday, Dec. 28 by 3 p.m. ET.

Apple has already handed proposed design changes to the Apple Watch to U.S. Customs in hopes the agency would change its mind on the import ban. U.S. Customs is set to offer a full decision by Jan. 12 to approve those changes, which could mean a lift to the import ban.

“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,” Apple told Gizmodo in an emailed statement. The courts could hear the full motion for an appeal on the import ban as soon as Jan. 15, where it could hand down a more lasting ruling.

So we could be back in here in a few weeks to perform this whole song and dance all over again. Still, it’s the first real victory for Apple in several weeks, ever since the ITC’s order forced the Cupertino tech giant to pull its watches off Apple Store shelves and from its online shop just before Christmas. Apple initially appealed to the White House to veto the decision banning its wearables, but trade representatives quashed those hopes earlier this week.

The ITC has until Jan. 10 to contest the appeal for a longer stay. Masimo, the company that set this whole kerfuffle in motion with its blood oxygen sensor copyright claim, argued on Tuesday that it needs to protect its patent rights, and the court granted it the right to contest the appeal on Wednesday. The ITC has already argued Apple doesn’t face too much harm since it was still able to sell the Apple Watch SE and older editions of the watch.

All this surrounds a patent dispute that’s “finewoven” itself into a knot over the past few months. The ITC issued an import ban ruling in October, and Apple has struggled to find ways to keep its wearables on store shelves. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared some interesting tidbits about an ex-Masimo engineer who first pitched the blood oxygen sensor tech to Apple. The scientist, Dr. Marcelo Lamego, reportedly told Apple the tech would make the company the “No. 1 brand in the medical, fitness, and wellness market.”

For now, all Apple likely wants to do is sell its damn watch.


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