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Apple to Discontinue Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Following ITC Ban

Apple halts Series 9 & Ultra 2 sales due to a patent dispute with Masimo. Will the ITC ban stand? Explore the impact and Apple's legal strategies.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Facing Sales Halt: What You Need to Know

Apple's popular Series 9 and Ultra 2 models face an imminent sales cessation after 3 PM ET on December 21st, with the last day for pickup or delivery slated for December 24th from Apple's stores. This move comes as a preemptive measure by Apple to comply with an ITC import ban ensuing from a patent conflict with medical device manufacturer Masimo concerning its SpO2 sensor.

The ban specifically targets the flagship Series 9 and Ultra 2 models, sparing the Apple Watch SE, which lacks the SpO2 sensor, and earlier models equipped with the blood oxygen sensor. Notably, this restriction affects sales within the US only, as these watches will remain available for purchase abroad.

The dispute between Apple and Masimo has been ongoing, with Masimo, known for its pulse oximeter, alleging patent infringement in two separate cases filed with the US District Court and the ITC, focusing on pulse oximetry technology. The current import ban is a result of the latter case.

Apple, expressing strong opposition to the order, revealed plans to explore various legal and technical avenues to ensure continued availability of the Apple Watch to customers. However, the ban's fate remains uncertain pending a presidential review period, offering President Joe Biden the option to veto it. While presidential vetos are rare, Apple has encountered this situation previously, with former President Barack Obama vetoing an ITC import ban on certain Apple devices in 2013.

The review period concludes on December 25th, leaving the outcome in suspense until then. Should the ban persist, Apple vows to pursue all avenues, including potential appeals in the Federal Circuit, to swiftly restore Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches to US customers.