A federal appeals court agreed with tech giant Apple’s plea to temporarily halt an import restriction on certain of its smartwatches, so the newest models are once again available for purchase in the US.
Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches, which were removed from sale just before Christmas in anticipation of the ban, were restocked in shops on Wednesday and online on Thursday afternoon.
In a statement, Apple expressed its excitement about bringing back the whole Apple Watch selection to customers just in time for the new year.
While deliberating whether to grant Apple a longer-term stay pending appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed on Wednesday to halt the execution of the import restriction imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC). Just after the ban went into force on Tuesday, Apple requested an emergency temporary stay and appealed the ITC’s ruling.
“Apple’s teams have worked tirelessly over many years to develop technology that empowers users with industry-leading health, wellness and safety features and 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 added.
Apple was accused of stealing trade secrets and poaching personnel from medical technology company Masimo, which has a light-based device for measuring blood-oxygen levels.
This accusation culminated in a patent dispute that has persisted for years, leading to the ban. In 2020, Masimo took Apple to federal court, then in 2021, he used the International Trade Commission to make his case.
The medical device maker’s case with the federal court ended in a mistrial in May, but in January, an ITC judge ruled in its favor, and the full commission subsequently confirmed this decision in October.
On Tuesday, the Biden administration said that it would not step in to prevent the ban from taking effect, even though it had 60 days from the October decision to do so.
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