Apple Watch Series 9 sales to be halted over patent dispute

Update 12/21: Apple has officially halted its online sales of the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. 

Apple will be halting sales of its Series 9 smartwatch, TechCrunch has confirmed. The news, shared by 9to5Mac, follows an October ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC), owing to a patent dispute with California-based med tech firm, Masimo. The dispute stems from the blood sensor monitor on the latest flagship smart Watch.

The move goes into effect through the online Apple Store at 3 P.M. this Thursday (December 21), with retail locations ceasing sales December 24 — just ahead of the holiday. The 24th is also the last day for pickup and delivery of online orders.

Apple confirmed the move in a statement to TechCrunch this morning:

A Presidential Review Period is in progress regarding an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission on a technical intellectual property dispute pertaining to Apple Watch devices containing the Blood Oxygen feature. While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand. This includes pausing sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from starting December 21, and from Apple retail locations after December 24.

Apple’s teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features. Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.

Should the order stand, Apple will continue to take all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.

Apple will appeal the ruling, which it believes to be erroneous on the ITC’s part. The company also filed a pair of suits against Masimo in October of last year, alleging its own patent infringement. The company noted at the time, “Masimo has wrongly attempted to use the ITC to keep a potentially lifesaving product from millions of U.S. consumers while making way for their own watch that copies Apple.”

Masimo’s own complaint, which was initially focused on technology introduced with the Series 6, dates back to June 2021. The medical company stated that Apple, “began hiring Masimo employees, starting with Masimo’s Chief Medical Officer. In the Fall of 2020, Apple introduced the Series 6, manufactured in Asia.”

The primary dispute centers around pulse oximetry, which utilizes an optical sensor to detect blood flow. Last month Masimo received FDA clearance to use its own wrist-worn product for prescription and over-the-counter use.

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