Why The New Apple Watches Are Banned: Things to know

The last month of 2023 unfolded like a high-end courtroom drama for Apple. There was a time in between when the tech giant was restricted from selling two of its most advanced Apple Watch models in their home turf USA. A case related to copyright infringement is still going on, and though the ban is lifted for now, it’s not sunny and bright yet for Apple. But what’s at the core of this courtroom drama? Why even did it start? And what’s the future of these two Apple Watch models in the USA and the rest of the world? Let’s find out all that is there to know about the Apple Watch ban.

Source: Apple Toolbox

Apple Watch Ban – The Blood Oxygen App

Source: Apple

Apple introduced this feature of measuring blood oxygen levels in all of its flagship Apple Watch models in 2020. Blood oxygen level is the percentage of oxygen that red blood cells carry from the lungs to the rest of the body. Through the Blood Oxygen app, any Apple Watch user can know about their blood oxygen level within 15 seconds. Though Apple never claimed that the reading is intended to be used for medical purposes, it is an important feature for anyone who wants to keep track of their health and fitness.

Apple Watch Ban – The Law Suit

Now, there’s a health tech company based in California, Masimo, who has also developed and patented a similar technology to monitor blood oxygen levels through a smartwatch. They filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2021 accusing them of a copyright infringement. Further, Apple filed two more lawsuits against Masimo accusing them of infringing patents with its smartwatches.

Source: Wccftech

On October 26 the US International Trade Commission imposed a ban on the sale of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the USA. Though Apple was forbidden to sell these models through their stores and websites, these Apple watches were available in the US market through third-party sellers. However, a ban was imposed on restocking these models until the lawsuit concluded.

Apple Watch Ban – Apple’s reaction

The drama reached its height when Apple appealed to the Biden administration to reverse the ITC decision and they declined to do it. Immediately, Apple filed an emergency request to the US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit to halt the ban. The Court of Appeal accepted this request and ordered to put a temporary hold on the Apple Watch ban until it gets a ruling on whether its suggested alteration to the watches will resolve the patent infringement issues. A decision by the US Customs and Border Protection on these proposed changes in the Apple Watches is expected on 12th January. That will set the future course of action for the tech giant.

Source: Investing.com

So, that’s all the drama related to the Apple Watch ban. Though for now this ban was only imposed within the US territory. But in future, if further complications arise for the tech giant, its effect might reach India and other markets for Apple Watches as well. Also, a change in technology, especially in the blood oxygen saturation sensor and other health features is expected in the near future. So, it’s better to wait until then before buying a new Apple Watch Series 9 or an Apple Watch Ultra 2. In the meantime, you can simply get your old Apple Watch repaired. After all, just like their maker, even they deserve a second chance.

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