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Apple Watch sales to stop after ITC rejects bid to block import ban

The U.S. International Trade Commission Wednesday denied an Apple motion to stay an import ban on the company's Ultra 2 (pictured) and Series 9 watches. The ITC said the devices infringe on intellectual property of Masimo, a medical technology company. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
The U.S. International Trade Commission Wednesday denied an Apple motion to stay an import ban on the company's Ultra 2 (pictured) and Series 9 watches. The ITC said the devices infringe on intellectual property of Masimo, a medical technology company. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Apple will begin phasing out sales of Apple Watch models Thursday after an attempt to delay an import band on the accessories failed.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will no longer be available for purchase on Apple's website beginning at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday and will be pulled from the shelves of physical retail stores on Dec. 24.

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The products are set to be pulled after the U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday denied Apple's attempt to delay an import ban triggered by an October order that found the Apple Watches infringe on the intellectual property of medical technology company Masimo.

The ITC said in October it would imports of the watches because they contained "light-based physiological measurement devices and components " that infringed on Masimo's patent.

The import ban takes effect on Dec. 26, allowing watches already imported into the United States to still be sold while blocking any new ones from being imported.

President Joe Biden has the power to stop the import ban but the White House has not said he will.

Earlier this week White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration is tracking the case and Biden has delegated authority to the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai to make a determination.

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Responding to the ITC import ban decision in October Masimo CEO Joe Kiani said in a statement that the ruling "sends a powerful message that even the world's largest company is not above the law."

Kiani said Apple hasn't contacted Masimo to settle the issue, but tried to get Masimo to agree to a partnership or acquisition and then allegedly began 'systematically poaching' Masimo's technical staff.

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