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Biden administration authorizes ban on certain Apple Watch imports

The Biden administration on Tuesday dropped a ban on imports of Apple Watches imposed by the US International Trade Commission, following a patent dispute over the devices’ blood oxygen monitor. The decision comes into force on Tuesday.

THE the tech giant said last week that it “was taking preventative measures to comply” in the event that the ITC’s decision was upheld, by stopping sales of the affected devices. The hiatus included the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The dispute stems from the devices’ blood oxygen feature, which allows Apple Watch users to measure the level of oxygen in their blood. Low blood oxygen levels can lead to serious health problems, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Apple’s decision came after the ITC ruled that the tech giant had illegally used blood oxygen technology from Masimo, a medical technology company, in devices and ordered Apple to stop using it. import them.

Apple said in a statement on Tuesday: “We strongly disagree with the USITC’s decision and the resulting exclusion order, and are taking all steps to return the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the United States as soon as possible.”

Apple appealed the ban on Tuesday.

Masimo did not immediately respond to CBS News’ requests for comment.

While a presidential panel reviewed the ITC’s order, Apple preemptively removed the devices in case the panel upheld the ruling.

“After extensive consultations, Ambassador (Katherine) Tai decided not to reverse the ITC’s determination and the ITC’s decision became final on December 26, 2023,” the US Trade Representative said on Tuesday. in a press release.

Apple began including the pulse oximeter feature in its smartwatches with its Series 6 model in 2020.

The ban does not cover the less expensive Apple Watch SE or other previously sold watches.

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