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Why are Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 unavailable in the US retail stores?

The patent dispute between Apple and Masimo has highlighted the significance of the SpO2 sensor technology, which is an integral feature in the contested Apple Watches. As the legal battle continues, the smartwatch closely with the potential resolutions and their implications.

Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: December 25, 2023 14:24 IST
Apple Watch
Image Source : APPLE Apple watch

Apple has recently decided to suspend the sale of its Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 at its US retail stores. As Apple Stores prepare to reopen after Christmas, customers will discover that these two models will be available on the shelves.

The decision was made after an import ban was imposed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). This has been the result of an ongoing patent dispute with medical device manufacturer Masimo. The dispute has been revolved around the blood oxygen sensor technology which has incorporated in these flagship smartwatches.

Last week (mid-December), the tech giant took steps by removing the two smartwatches from its online store and has extended the unavailability to its physical locations too. Reports have suggested that Apple Stores will be focusing on promoting the Watch SE wearable model which lacks the contentious blood oxygen sensor.

About the ITC ruling

The ITC ruled in October that the blood oxygen sensor in Series 9 and Ultra 2 infringes on two patents which were held by Masimo. The case was reportedly presented to the Joe Biden administration for a 60-day Presidential review period. Despite the conclusion of the review period on December 25, President Biden’s decision still awaits.

It has been stated that there is a possibility that President Biden may choose to intervene and reject the ITC decision at the last minute, a prospect has acknowledged in reports covering the situation.

Apple's legal strategy and commitment

Apple is said to have affirmed a commitment to taking all necessary measures for the swift reintroduction of the smartwatches to the US customers. 

The company has planned to file the ITC’s final decision appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tomorrow (December 26).

The patent dispute between Apple and Masimo has highlighted the significance of the SpO2 sensor technology, which is an integral feature in the contested Apple Watches. As the legal battle continues, the smartwatch closely with the potential resolutions and their implications.

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Inputs from IANS

 

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