A United States import ban on Apple smartwatch models took effect on Tuesday after President Joe Biden’s administration opted not to veto a ruling on patent infringements.

In October, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) banned Apple Watch models over a patented technology for detecting blood oxygen levels.

However, Apple had appealed, arguing that the ITC finding was in error and should be reversed. But last week, it paused its US sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The order to ban certain Apple Watch models stemmed from a complaint to the commission in mid-2021 accusing Apple of infringing on medical device maker Masimo Corp’s “light-based oximetry functionality.”


“After careful consultations, Ambassador (Katherine) Tai decided not to reverse the determination, and the ITC’s decision became final on December 26, 2023,” the President’s executive office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Apple has firmed up fitness and health features with each generation of its Apple Watch, which dominates the smartwatch category.

In September, Apple released its Apple Watch Series 9, touting increased performance and features such as accessing and logging health data.