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Apple files appeal after US allows Apple Watch import ban

Apple has filed an appeal of a decision to ban imports of Apple Watches based on a complaint from medical monitoring technology company Masimo after US President Joe Biden’s administration declined to veto a government tribunal.

The US International Trade Commission’s (ITC) order went into effect today, barring imports and sales of Apple Watches that use patent-infringing technology for reading blood-oxygen levels.

Apple has included the pulse oximeter feature in its smart watches starting with its Series 6 model in 2020.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai decided not to reverse the ban following careful consultations, and the ITC’s decision became final today, the Trade Representative’s office said.

“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 US as soon as possible,” Apple said in a statement.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the company has appealed the ban to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. The ITC last week rejected Apple’s request to pause the ban during the appeal process.

Representatives for Masimo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Our litigation expert predicted that a potential Apple appeal would extend the ‘final’ ITC case verdict roughly another year,” analysts at Stifel said in a note.

Apple has paused its sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the United States since last week, though the watches remain available from other retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart as of today.

The ban does not affect Apple Watch SE, a less expensive model, which will continue to be sold.

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