The Apple Watch ban pause has been officially opposed by the ITC, could it be banned again?

The Apple Watch ban is currently paused in the United States but the International Trade Commission unsurprisingly says that it opposes the move.

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Buying an Apple Watch in the United States is easier today than it might have been if a ban on Apple's best wearables had gone ahead. That ban was paused after Apple appealed a decision to ban its Apple Watch in December, but now the UInternationla Trade Commission has formally opposed the stay, saying that Apple's arguments against a ban are weak.

The original ban kicked in on December 25 after the Biden administration chose not to intervene following a decision to ban the watches over patent infringements. Those infringements are over patents relating to health technology created by Masimo and a legal battle has been underway for years. At issue is the blood oxygen monitor used in the Apple Watch Ultra 2, Apple Watch Series 9, and slightly older models not including the Apple Watch SE - that model doesn't have the blood oxygen monitoring technology and is not affected as a result.

The Apple Watch ban pause has been officially opposed by the ITC, could it be banned again? 02

Apple briefly paused sales of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9, before it was able to get a stay on the ban that runs until January 15 at the earliest. That's when arguments from all parties will be taken into account, and a ban could be reinstated as a result.

Now, the ITC has weighed on the pause of the Apple Watch ban, saying that Apple's arguments against it are weak and unconvincing, adding that the only reason for the argument in the first place was to try and get the stay that it was ultimately granted.

For its part, Apple says that it is working on software changes that could fix the issue in terms of the way its watches infringe upon Masimo's patents. however, Masimo and others have expressed surprise that a software fix is being considered and instead believe that a hardware change would be required in order to avoid continued infringement of the affected patents.

Apple will want to be able to get this all sorted out as soon as possible with at least one new Apple Watch set to launch again later this year. It's expected to be a big year for the wearable with an Apple Watch X rumored to celebrate the device's 10-year anniversary. It's also possible that a new Apple Watch Ultra model will arrive alongside the rumored Apple Watch X and both models will have some form of blood oxygen monitoring technology built in. What technology Apple will use to make that happen remains to be seen.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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