Apple Halts Sales of Latest Smartwatches in the U.S. due to an ongoing legal dispute over the technology used to measure wearers’ blood oxygen levels. The decision was confirmed by Apple on Monday, stating that sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the slightly larger Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be “paused” online starting Thursday at 3 p.m. EST. These watches will still be available for purchase at Apple retail locations until Christmas Eve.
This move by Apple is the latest development in its legal battle with Masimo Corp., a medical tech company based in Irvine, California, and its research and development arm, Cercacor Laboratories Inc. Masimo claims that Apple stole trade secrets and violated its patents in creating the light-based pulse oximetry technology featured in the Apple Watch Series 6. The legal dispute dates back to 2020, the year the Series 6 was launched.
A significant development in the case occurred on Oct. 26, when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Masimo. The ITC upheld an earlier decision by an administrative law judge, stating that Apple had infringed on specific Masimo patents related to measuring blood oxygen levels. The ITC recommended a cease and desist order against Apple, preventing the marketing, selling, and distribution of the allegedly infringing Apple Watches in the U.S., along with a limited exclusion order—a ban on importing the watches.