Multinational technology company Apple is taking pre-emptive steps to suspend the sale of some of its smartwatches in the US over a patent dispute.
The company will stop selling the Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches on its website from 21 December 2023 and in its retail stores from 24 December 2023, CNN has reported.
The dispute involves the pulse oximeter patent developed by medical technology company Masimo, which uses light-based technology to read blood-oxygen levels.
Apple’s suspension follows an order from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that could prohibit the company from importing watches with this technology.
Following the order on 26 October 2023, US President Joe Biden’s administration had 60 days until 25 December 2023 to review the ITC’s ruling, after which the ban could come into force.
Apple believes the ITC’s findings to be incorrect and that the ruling should be reversed.
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The company commits to take all measures, including appealing the decision to the Federal Circuit.
The Apple Series 9 and the Ultra 2 will continue to be sold outside the US, including during the Lunar New Year season in Asia, Reuters reported.
Apple issued a statement: “While the review period will not end until 25 December, [we are] pre-emptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand.
“Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that the Apple Watch is available to customers.”
Other models, including the Apple Watch SE, that do not feature the blood oxygen sensor will not be affected.