Apple has decided to stop the sales of its highly anticipated Apple Watch Series 9 smartwatch with a surprise decision after a patent dispute with California-based medical technology company Masimo. Here are all the details…
ITC decision and suspension of sales
The unprecedented decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) has led Apple to halt online sales on December 21, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. and in-store sales on December 24, just before the start of the holiday season. The sudden move also marks the deadline for online orders to be picked up and delivered.
In an official statement to TechCrunch, Apple explained that the sales halt is a proactive measure during the ongoing Presidential Review Period regarding the ITC’s ruling on a technical intellectual property dispute involving the Blood Oxygen feature in Apple Watch devices.
Here is the full statement:
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 Apple.com 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 has appealed
Apple strongly opposed the decision, emphasizing its commitment to empowering users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features. The tech giant is actively pursuing various legal and technical options to ensure the availability of the Apple Watch to its customers.
Despite this setback, Apple remains steadfast and plans to appeal the ITC’s decision, which it considers erroneous. The company took legal action against Masimo in October last year, accusing the medical technology firm of patent infringement. Apple’s position is clear: Masimo is trying to use the ITC to block Apple’s product while Masimo launches a watch that allegedly copies Apple’s innovation.
Masimo’s point of view and the protracted dispute
Masimo’s first complaint, which dates back to June 2021 and focuses on the technology introduced with the Series 6, accuses Apple of hiring its employees and copying its innovations. The dispute revolves around pulse oximetry, which uses an optical sensor to detect blood flow. Despite receiving FDA approval for his wrist-worn product last month, Masimo has been embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Apple.
As the tech and medical giants clash in the courtroom, the fate of the Apple Watch Series 9 awaits the outcome of the Presidential Review Period and Apple’s vigorous legal pursuit to ensure its customers have access to this cutting-edge wearable technology.
Featured image credit: Raagesh C / Unsplash