For those catching up, Apple remains embroiled in a patent dispute with health startup Masimo relating to blood oxygen technology, with the Cupertino company's latest smartwatches banned for sale in the US by the International Trade Commission back in December.
Apple has since been able to win an interim stay on the ban - with sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 resuming on 2 January - while it works on a redesign of the sensor.
In a 15 January court filing, though, it was revealed that the “US Customs and Border Protection decided that Apple’s redesign falls outside the scope of the remedial orders in the ITC Investigation underlying Apple’s appeal.”
Apple could avoid the ban altogether, per US customs, by removing the pulse oximetry from its watches, but this is viewed as a "backup scenario" according to Bloomberg's Apple insider Mark Gurman.
Instead, it appears Apple is holding out for the US Federal Appeals Court to approve an extended stay on the import ban. It's something the court could rule on as early as 16 January - and could delay the ban for an additional year or more.
In such a scenario, Apple would then conceivably have the time to redesign its hardware and software for a future release - if deemed necessary.
If the appeal is rejected, Apple will reportedly look to remove blood oxygen from unsold Series 9 and Ultra 2 devices while it explores avenues to see it return, though it's not anticipated, Gurman says, that the functionality will be removed from existing models.
With the ruling expected soon, we'll update this story with more information when we have it.
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