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Apple Halts Sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US Amidst Patent Dispute with Masimo

In a strategic maneuver to proactively adhere to a potential International Trade Commission (ITC) import ban, Apple has officially halted sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the United States effective December 21st at 3 PM ET. This decision stems from an ongoing patent dispute with medical device manufacturer Masimo, specifically centered around the SpO2 sensor, a critical component of the Apple Watch.

Masimo has initiated legal action against Apple in both the US District Court and the ITC, asserting that Apple has violated its pulse oximetry technology patents. The potential enforcement of the ITC import ban will impact the sales of the flagship Series 9 and Ultra 2 models, restricting their availability within the US market. Notably, the Apple Watch SE, lacking the SpO2 sensor, remains unaffected, as do earlier models featuring the blood oxygen sensor.

Expressing strong disagreement with the ITC order, Apple is actively exploring legal and technical avenues to ensure continuous access to the Apple Watch for its customers. The ITC import ban is presently undergoing a presidential review period, during which President Joe Biden holds the authority to potentially veto the ban. While presidential vetos are infrequent, Apple has historically benefited from such interventions.

The ongoing review period is slated to conclude on December 25th, and Apple is actively pursuing measures, including potential appeals in the Federal Circuit, to address the situation. In response to the dispute, Apple is reportedly developing software changes for the Apple Watch's oxygen saturation measurement and planning to submit a workaround to the ITC. The resolution of these efforts will ultimately determine the future availability of the impacted Apple Watch models in the US market.


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