Apple tried and failed to stay an upcoming US sales ban on its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 smartwatches. The company requested the stay to the International Trade Commission (ITC), pending an appeal of the case, but on Wednesday, the ITC denied that stay request.
In its decision, the ITC stated:
For the reasons discussed in the Commission Opinion issued concurrently herewith, the Commission has determined to deny Apple’s motion to stay the remedial orders pending appeal and/or in light of a potential government shutdown.
The ITC previously ruled back in October that Apple had violated the patents of a company called Masimo. That company had developed blood oxygen sensor technology and has claimed Apple used their technology illegally with its blood oxygen sensor installed in the Apple Watch products affected by the ban.
Apple has already confirmed it will suspend US sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple.com starting today. It will also end sales of the watches at its retail stores beginning December 25. An import ban of the devices to the US will begin on December 26.
The ban will not affect third-party retailers like Amazon from selling the smartwatches. However, once their inventory is sold out, they won’t be able to get any more units until the patent dispute is resolved.
Apple’s one hope for lifting the US sales ban for its smartwatches is from the Biden Administration. After the ITC ruling in October, the White House started conducting a Presidential Review of this dispute. That review is supposed to conclude on December 25.
US President Joe Biden could veto the ban following that review, but so far there’s no indication he will make that kind of reversal. CNBC reports that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday, “We’re tracking this case and the Dec. 25 deadline.”