In a major setback for Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s attempt to delay an import and sales ban on its Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 has been rejected by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC denied Apple’s motion to stay the ban while the company awaits an appeal, according to a filing on Wednesday.

Apple had announced earlier this week that it would remove the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 from its store shelves in response to an October ruling by the ITC. The ruling stated that Apple’s SpO2 sensors violated patents held by medical device manufacturer Masimo.

The last day for customers to purchase these watches from Apple stores is December 24th, and the import ban is scheduled to take effect on December 26th.

Apple is reportedly exploring various options, including implementing software changes, to circumvent the ban, as reported by Bloomberg.

The ITC’s filing explained, “For the reasons discussed in the Commission Opinion issued concurrently herewith, the Commission has determined to deny Apple’s motion to stay the remedial orders pending appeal and/or in light of a potential government shutdown.”

It is important to note that the ban is applicable only in the United States, and third-party retailers like Amazon, and other stores will still be able to sell the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 until their existing supplies are exhausted. They, however, will not be allowed to restock their inventories.

Although Apple’s efforts to prevent the ban have been unsuccessful, there remains a possibility of overturning the decision if President Joe Biden chooses to veto it. However, the likelihood of such an intervention is considered highly improbable by legal experts.

(With inputs from agencies)

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