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Biden Upholds Apple Watch Ban

           By: Nick Gambino

Last week, we reported on the ITC ban that forced Apple to pull the Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2 from shelves. At the time they were awaiting a review by President Biden who has the power to overturn the ban. They knew an overturn wasn’t likely and now it’s clear those concerns were not unwarranted.

The Biden administration decided not to overturn the ban and upheld the ITC’s decision. Apple is not allowed to import the Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 into the U.S.

“We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting exclusion order, and are taking all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U..S as soon as possible,” Apple said in a statement to 9to5Mac.

This whole mess is due to a judge ruling that states that both smartwatches employ a blood pressure sensor that infringes on a patent held by Masimo. The ITC then stepped in and issued a ban on selling and importing the Apple watches.

That doesn’t stop third parties like Best Buy and Amazon from selling the Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2, but once they run out of inventory there’s no way to restock.

Apple isn’t ready to throw in the towel and it looks like they’ll exhaust every resource to overturn the ban and avoid paying royalties to Masimo, something the patent holder is willing to negotiate on. They are filing an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit as their next step in this battle.

“While Apple is appealing the ban decision, they have to prepare for the very real possibility that the Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2, at least in their current iteration, are done,” Andrew Tropeano, a technology expert with NWT Media (www.nwtmediagroup.com), says of Apple’s current predicament. “There are paths forward to getting them back on the market if the appeal doesn’t go their way. All of those paths involve redesign either on the software or hardware level.”

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