Apple Watches. So, Apple is back in the game! A federal appeals court has put a temporary hold on a ban that stopped Apple from selling its latest and greatest Apple Watch models. That means the tech giant can immediately start selling these watches in stores and online after they had to take them down due to a patent dispute.
The Apple Watch Comeback
Apple wasted no time and announced they’ll be putting those affected watches back on sale on their website, starting from Thursday at noon Pacific Time. This move, they say, will ensure that customers can get their hands on the full lineup of Apple Watches just in time for the new year.
The snag came from a ruling by the US International Trade Commission that stopped Apple from bringing in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, along with other newer models, into the US. Why? Because these smartwatches supposedly infringe on patents owned by another company.
Apple’s Fight Back
Seeing the trouble brewing, Apple made a swift emergency appeal motion on Tuesday against the ITC ruling. They argued that sticking to the ban while the appeal was in progress could cause them serious harm. Luckily for Apple, the appeals court decided to step in temporarily and hold off on the ITC’s order.
Now, Apple’s got until January 12 to tweak these Apple Watch models, addressing the patent issues. They’re planning to fix the problem in these watches, and the temporary hold on the ban gives them that chance.
Apple’s Statement and Sales Strategy
Apple’s made it clear that they’ve been working hard for years on top-notch technology for health, wellness, and safety features in their watches. They’re thrilled that the appeals court is looking into their request and putting a pause on the exclusion order.
The good news for Apple Watch fans is that the Series 9 and Ultra 2 will start hitting some US stores on Wednesday. More widespread availability is expected in the following days, according to Apple.
The Whole Patent Drama
The heart of this issue is a patent clash regarding a pulse oximeter patent, which helps in reading blood-oxygen levels using light-based tech. Masimo, a medical device company, holds this patent, and the US International Trade Commission ruled that Apple’s tech crossed the line.
But here’s the kicker: while imports were banned, third-party stores were still selling these Apple Watch models even after the ban kicked in.
Apple’s Early Win
This temporary hold on the ban is like a breath of fresh air for Apple. It’s a small victory that allows them to keep selling their top-notch smartwatches while they battle it out in court against the ITC decision. The Federal Circuit’s order tells the ITC to chill on enforcing the ban until they figure out what’s what.
So, Apple’s got a lifeline for now, but the real showdown in court is yet to come. This decision might just set the tone for how things play out for Apple and the ITC’s ruling. For the time being, though, Apple’s latest watch models are back in the spotlight.