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Apple Watch ban temporarily paused

Apple Watch ban temporarily paused

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One day after the Apple Watch import ban went into effect, the US Court of Appeals is instituting a brief pause while it considers a longer pause.

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Apple has won a temporary pause of the Apple Watch ban that went into effect on Tuesday, so it will resume sales in Apple Stores starting today (Wednesday) and on Apple.com by 3PM ET / 12PM ET tomorrow, December 28th. A federal appeals court ordered a halt on the import and sales bans today, after Apple requested that they be paused at least until US Customs can determine if changes it’s making to the Apple Watch would be enough to avoid the patent dispute that led to the ban. Customs is expected to issue its decision on January 12th.

The court’s order means that Apple can resume selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 for the moment. Both watches were pulled from its website last week and off of store shelves this week, as the ban went into effect.

Apple was banned from selling and importing both watches due to a patent dispute with the medical device maker Masimo. The US International Trade Commission found that Apple had infringed Masimo patents and ordered the US sales ban as a result. While it’s in place, other retailers can continue selling through their existing Apple Watch stock, but Apple is prohibited from selling its own or bringing new watches into the country.

The appeals court is now weighing a longer halt on the import and sales ban. Apple requested that the bans be paused until the appeals court can issue a full ruling on the patent infringement case. That may not be decided for at least a few more weeks.

Update December 27th, 5:24PM ET: Added details on Apple Watch sales restarting.