Patent dispute: Apple pulls Watch Series 9, Ultra 2 from US online store

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Apple has pulled its latest flagship smartwatches, the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, from the company’s online store in the US due to a forthcoming import ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) over a patent dispute with medical device maker Masimo. The ban is set to take full effect on December 26 and both the Apple Watches will disappear from its retail stores after December 24.

Apple has also pulled refurbished versions of two earlier watches with SpO2 sensors, the Series 7 and Series 8, from its online store. Two special editions of the Series 9, the Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès, have also been stopped from selling online, according to reports. The ban only affects these specific Watches sales in the US and other countries are not affected. It’s unclear how long the ban could be in effect.

On Wednesday, the US ITC denied Apple’s bid to delay an import and sales ban on the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 amid a patent dispute. In a filing, the US ITC said it has “determined to deny the respondent’s motion to stay remedial orders pending appeal and/or in light of potential government shutdown.” The long-running patent dispute between Apple and medical technology company Masimo is around the Watch’s blood oxygen sensor (SpO2 sensor) technology.

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An October ruling from the ITC said the tech giant’s SpO2 sensors infringed on patents from Masimo. Apple is reportedly working on software changes on how the Watch measures and reports oxygen saturation. Masimo is known for its pulse oximeter. The company had filed two separate cases, claiming that Apple infringed on its pulse oximetry technology. An Apple spokesperson said earlier that it “strongly disagrees” with the order and is “pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.”