Last month, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit paused an import ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 as it considered Apple’s request to continue selling the smartwatches during the appeal process. This week, the court officially denied Apple’s request. As a result, imports of the Apple Watch models with blood oxygen features will once again be banned starting on Thursday, January 18 at 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET.
For background, medical technology company Masimo has accused Apple of stealing its pulse oximetry technology for the Apple Watch. The International Trade Commission then upheld a judge’s ruling that Apple infringed on two of Masimo’s patents, subsequently banning the import of the devices in the US last fall. Apple stopped selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in its stores, but they were still available at third-party retailers.
After a temporary pause, Apple started selling Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in its physical stores and online at the end of December. Apple’s victory was short-lived, though, and it’s unclear what this means for Apple Watch sales in the coming weeks.
Neither Apple nor Masimo have issued any response to the decision yet.
9to5Mac shared the court document on its website, which explains why the court decided not to grant Apple an extended stay during the appeals process:
Rule 18 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure authorizes this court to grant a stay pending this appeal. Our determination is governed by four factors: (1) whether the movant has made a strong showing of likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant will be irreparably harmed absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.
Having considered all four factors, and the recent EOE Branch ruling, we lift the interim stay and deny Apple’s motion. We reach no conclusion on the merits of the appeal.
Apple will reportedly remove the blood oxygen features from both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in order to get around the ban. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a software update that will disable the features.