Apple halts sale of Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 over patent dispute

Investing

Apple will halt sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 just days before Christmas due to a patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo over a blood oxygen monitor included in both models, multiple media outlets are reporting.
Apple will halt sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 just days before Christmas. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • Online sales on Apple.com will halt. Dec. 21 while in-store retail sales will halt Dec. 24, the company said in a statement to multiple media outlets.
  • The International Trade Commission ruled earlier this year that Apple violated Masimo’s patent in its blood oxygen monitor, but the decision is under a formal review, with the White House set to either allow the ruling to go through or veto it by Christmas.
  • But Apple has opted to pull the watches at issue from the market in order to “preemptively comply should the ruling stand,” the company said.
  • Apple Watch models that don’t include the blood-oxygen monitor will still be on the market, and the watches at issue will still be sold outside the U.S.
Key Background

Masimo and Apple have been locked in a years-long court battle over intellectual property regarding its pulse oximeter, with CEO Joe Kiani claiming that Apple took his employees, along with trade secrets. Apple has repeatedly denied those claims. One of the lawsuits stemming from the dispute ended in a mistrial back in May.

That case is scheduled to be retried in California in October 2024. Apple has also filed its own lawsuits accusing Masimo of infringement on Apple Watch patents in Delaware. But the Commission’s decision to side with Masimo over the patents gave the California-based tech company significant leverage in its legal efforts, as Forbes has reported.

Crucial Quote

Apple spokesperson Nikki Rothberg told the Verge the company disagrees with the ITC decision and is “pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.”

Big Number

$65 million. That’s how much Masimo founder and CEO Joe Kiani says his company has spent in ongoing patent and trade secret litigation with Apple over its pulse oximeter, as Forbes has previously reported.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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