Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by admin
There has been a temporary halt in the sales of the two latest Apple Watch models, which is primarily due to a dispute over the patent for the blood-oxygen sensor. This cessation is set to take effect partially on December 21 and is caused by the unresolved conflict over ownership or licensing rights concerning this crucial sensor technology.
It has been announced that sales of the latest Apple Watch models, the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, will be paused before December 21 due to an expected ban by the US International Trade Commission. The ban is being considered because of a patent dispute over the technology used in the newest Watch models’ blood-oxygen sensor. The pause in sales will begin at 3 pm Eastern on December 21 on Apple.com, and in-store inventory will not be available at retail locations starting on December 24. However, the watches will continue to be sold on other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. The proposed ban only concerns the import of watches into the United States, so both watches will still be available in other countries.
Apple has been in a long-running dispute with the medical tech company Masimo, which sued Apple in 2021 for infringing on one of its patents related to light-based blood-oxygen monitoring. A judge ruled that Apple had infringed on the patents, and the ITC upheld that ruling in October. The decision then led to a 60-day presidential review period, which expires on December 25. As a result, Apple is taking preemptive steps to comply.
Apple has several options for getting its wearables back on the market. The company will appeal to federal court. It can also settle with Masimo by deactivating the blood-oxygen sensing features. More information about plans for the Watch 9 and Ultra 2 should be available after the review period expires on December 25.
The ruling does not affect the Watch SE as it has no blood-tracking sensors. The ban also does not affect any watch before the Series 9. Apple introduced the blood-monitoring features in the Watch Series 6 in 2020, and the Series 7 and Series 8 will still be available.
Coincidentally, Masimo also announced that its health-tracking smartwatch, the Masimo W1, has just received FDA clearance.
This post originally appeared in the WIRED