Apple Watch Sales Ban Confirmed: US Government Upholds ITC Ruling

Today, Apple faces an official sales ban for its latest Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, in the US. The Biden administration declined to veto the ban amidst Apple’s patent dispute with medical company Masimo, specifically regarding infringements on blood oxygen monitoring sensor patents.

Updates on the Apple Watch Sales Ban: A Recap

The legal battle between Apple and Masimo commenced in 2020 when Masimo filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in the Central District of California. The lawsuit accused Apple of infringing upon its patents concerning blood oxygen monitoring technology.

Following an unsatisfactory response to the initial lawsuit, Masimo escalated the conflict in 2021 by filing a formal complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC). Out of the 103 patents brought to ITC’s attention by Masimo, Apple was found guilty of infringing upon 2 patents.

In October 2023, the International Trade Commission (ITC) decided to await the Presidential Review before finalizing the ban. In anticipation, Apple proactively removed the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from its online platform and physical stores last week.

Today, the outcome of the Presidential Review was revealed, with the Biden administration choosing not to overturn the ban. Consequently, the official sales ban on Apple Watches has been confirmed.

Apple Maintains Stance

In a statement provided to 9to5Mac, Apple expressed vehement disagreement with the Apple Watch sales prohibition and vowed to take steps to restore the availability of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 for customers in the United States.

It appears that Apple may consider disabling the blood oxygen monitoring feature through a software update, potentially enabling the sale of the prohibited Apple Watches in the country.

On the other hand, Masimo has indicated its willingness to engage in negotiations with Apple. If Apple chooses this path, it might involve a substantial financial settlement running into several million dollars for the Cupertino-based company.

Is Purchasing an Apple Watch Still Possible in the U.S.?

If you’re looking to purchase the latest Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 during the holiday season, you can still find them available at third-party retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart. It’s important to note that Apple has specifically prohibited the sale of these two models through its official channels. However, the Apple Watch SE remains available for purchase through the official Apple website or stores.

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