Apple’s attempt to delay an impending import ban on certain Apple Watch models has been unsuccessful, as confirmed by an International Trade Commission filing. Now, only a last-minute intervention from the White House could prevent a temporary halt in sales for some Apple Watch devices in the U.S.
Earlier this week, Apple announced its decision to cease selling two recently released models, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, on its website from Thursday and in Apple stores starting Sunday. The move is a response to orders from the International Trade Commission (ITC) in October, which determined that the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor violated intellectual property owned by Masimo, a medical technology company serving hospitals.
On Wednesday, the ITC denied Apple’s request to delay the ban pending an appeal, effectively signaling a step closer to preventing the company from selling one of its crucial products in its largest market during a peak sales period. Existing Apple Watch inventory can still be sold by retailers.
Despite the looming setback, Apple‘s shares have only seen a slight decline of less than 1% since the announcement on Monday. They remained flat in extended trading on Wednesday.
Only a last-minute White House intervention can prevent a pause in the Apple watch sales in the U.S.
The ultimate decision now rests with President Joe Biden, who has the authority to veto the ban but has not yet signaled his intentions. The White House is closely monitoring the situation, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating, “We’re tracking this case and the Dec. 25 deadline.” The U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, is carefully assessing the factors involved.
In addition to the infringement claims, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani has accused Apple of deceptive practices during acquisition and partnership talks, alleging that Apple systematically poached technical staff. Despite these accusations, Apple has not reached out for a settlement, according to Kiani.
The current situation leaves Apple navigating a challenging period as it seeks to resolve the legal dispute and ensure the return of its product to the U.S. market. The company remains tight-lipped, with a representative declining to comment, while emphasizing that Apple is taking “all measures” to address the situation.