- The White House has declined to veto a government ban on the imports of the latest version of the Apple Watch, limiting the product’s availability in the U.S.
- The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) order to restrict the import of the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 goes into effect on Tuesday.
- Apple’s next option will be to appeal the import ban in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.
The White House has decided not to veto a government ban on the imports of the latest version of the Apple Watch, thereby limiting the product’s availability. The U. S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) order to restrict the import of the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is set to go into effect on Tuesday.
U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai, after consultations, also decided not to reverse the ban, according to Reuters. This decision leaves Apple unable to bring in additional models of the devices, and it limits the company’s ability to sell new watches in the United States.
Apple now has the option to appeal the import ban in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. However, the ITC declined Apple’s request to pause the ban during the appeal process.
Last week, Apple announced that it was pausing the sales of the Series 9 and the Ultra 2 in anticipation of the ITC ban. The product was initially banned due to a patent dispute between Apple and the medical technology company Masimo over Apple’s implementation of a blood oxygen tracker into the device. The commission ruled in favor of Masimo, leading to the ban.
The current patents only apply to blood oxygen trackers in Series 6, 7, 8, and 9 of Apple Watches and the Ultra models. The Apple Watch SE, which does not have the tracker, will still be available.
According to an internal memo, users who bring Apple Watches into Apple Stores will be unable to get them replaced or repaired.
Clear Thoughts (op-ed)
The White House’s refusal to veto the ban on the latest Apple Watches is a clear indication of a fundamental lack of understanding of the importance of innovation and technological advancement.
It’s a decision that not only limits consumer choice but also hampers the growth of a leading American company.
What’s more, it sets a worrying precedent for other tech giants who may now fear similar punitive action.
Instead of stifling innovation, the government should be fostering an environment that encourages it.
The White House’s decision is a disappointing setback for the tech industry, and a blow to the principle of free trade.
It’s yet another example of government overreach and interference in the private sector.
In the end, it’s the American consumer who pays the price.
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