Apple Watches are back on sale after ban paused by federal court

The latest Apple Watch models are back on sale in the United States after a federal appeals court granted the tech giant’s request to temporarily pause an import ban on some of its smartwatches.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, which were pulled shortly before Christmas in preparation for the ban, became available for purchase once again in stores Wednesday and online Thursday afternoon. 

“We are thrilled to return the full Apple Watch lineup to customers in time for the new year,” Apple said in a statement.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed to pause enforcement of the import ban from the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Wednesday while it considers granting Apple a longer-term stay pending appeal.

Apple appealed the ITC’s decision and asked for an immediate interim stay on Tuesday, shortly after the ban went into effect. 

“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.

The ban stems from a years-long patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo, which accused Apple of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets related to its light-based technology for measuring blood-oxygen levels.

Masimo sued Apple in federal court in 2020 and at the ITC in 2021. While its federal case ended in a mistrial in May, an ITC judge sided with the medical device maker in January in a decision that was ultimately upheld by the full commission in October.

The Biden administration, which had 60 days from the October decision to weigh in, said Tuesday that it would not intervene, allowing the ban to take effect.