Apple Faces Ban on Apple Watch Models After Patent Dispute Ruling

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Apple Faces Ban on Apple Watch Models After Patent Dispute Ruling
Image: Apple

Apple faced a setback in a recent ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning a patent dispute over sensor technology used in the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9, according to CNBC. Despite this, the watches will still be available for purchase in Europe and other regions.

In October 2023, the ITC determined that the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch violated patents held by Masimo, a medical tech company. Apple’s request to delay the decision was turned down (PDF). Now, their final option to avoid the ban hinges on intervention from the U.S. President.

As a precautionary measure, Apple stopped selling both smartwatches online from December 21, 2023, and will cease in-store sales after December 24. This move was made ahead of the import ban imposed by the U.S. trade authority, effective from December 26, 2023.

While retailers can continue selling their existing inventory, Apple’s online store and retail outlets will exclusively offer older models of the watches.

The White House hasn’t clarified if President Biden will veto the ban. Instead, they’ve mentioned that government officials are carefully considering all factors involved.

The dispute between Apple and Masimo has a long history, primarily concerning Apple’s inclusion of blood oxygen measurement in their watches. Moreover, Apple has been accused of recruiting Masimo employees and allegedly obtaining confidential information. Apple refutes these claims and has countersued, alleging that Masimo violated their patents.

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.