In an update from the International Trade Commission filing, Apple’s bid to delay an imminent import ban on certain Apple Watch models has been thwarted. Only a last-minute intervention from the White House could now prevent a temporary halt in the sales of these devices in the U.S.
Responding to orders from the ITC in October, Apple had announced plans earlier this week to cease sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, released this year. This decision was prompted by findings that the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor infringed on intellectual property owned by Masimo, a medical technology company.
Despite Apple’s motion to stay the original decision while appealing, the ITC denied the request on Wednesday, bringing Apple closer to being restricted from selling one of its key products in its largest market during a crucial sales period. Existing imported Apple Watches can still be sold by retailers if they have them in stock.
While Apple’s shares have experienced a slight dip since the announcement on Monday, President Joe Biden has the authority to veto the ban. However, there is no indication yet that he plans to do so. The White House press secretary mentioned tracking the case and the December 25 deadline, with Ambassador Katherine Tai carefully considering all factors.
Apart from the infringement claims, Masimo’s CEO, Joe Kiani, has accused Apple of misleading his company during acquisition and partnership talks and subsequently poaching technical staff. Kiani offered to work with Apple for mutual benefit, but no resolution has been reached. Apple, thus far, has not commented on the matter beyond stating that it is taking all measures to reintroduce the product to the U.S. market.