Apple Temporarily Halts Sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 Amidst Ongoing Patent Dispute

Apple Temporarily Halts Sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 Amidst Ongoing Patent Dispute

In a strategic move ahead of a potentially significant patent dispute with medical device maker Masimo, Apple has decided to cease sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States. This move, effective from Thursday on and retail locations after December 24, responds to an October ruling by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that found Apple violating Masimo’s pulse oximeter patent.

The specific bone of contention revolves around the blood oxygen feature of Apple’s smartwatch, a feature crucially marketed as contributing to the device’s life-saving capabilities. The ITC ruling, pending President Biden’s review within the next 60 days, poses the risk of a potential import ban on affected Apple Watch models.

While expressing strong disagreement with the ITC’s findings, Apple stated that it is taking preemptive measures to comply with the ruling if it stands. The company is actively pursuing legal and technical options to ensure the availability of Apple Watch to its customers. However, if the ban comes into effect, Apple pledges to take all necessary steps to return the affected models to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.

The impacted models include the Apple Watch Series 6 and later, along with all versions of the Apple Watch Ultra imported after the upcoming review period. Notably, the ban will not affect the Apple Watch SE.

In its defense, Apple asserts the inaccuracy of the ITC’s findings and plans to appeal the decision to the Federal Circuit. The company has submitted evidence highlighting the potential adverse effects of a ban on healthcare, scientific and medical research, and users who rely on health-related features such as ECG and blood oxygen monitoring.

Masimo’s CEO, Joe Kiani, sees Apple’s decision to halt sales as a pressure tactic in their ongoing patent fight. While Apple has not pursued settlement discussions with Masimo, Kiani remains open to resolving the dispute amicably.

With the Apple Watch being a significant player in the smartwatch market, the temporary halt in sales, strategically timed during the holiday season, aims to mitigate potential financial impacts. Apple remains a dominant force in the sector, holding around a 24% market share, and aims to navigate the dispute without significant disruptions to its sales.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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