Apple is temporarily halting sales in the United States of two of its newest smartwatch models: the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, due to a patent dispute.
The company will remove the watches from its website on December 21 and stores on December 25 to comply with a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that Apple’s blood oxygen monitoring feature infringes on patents held by medical device maker Masimo.
In an email to various news outlets, the company stated, “Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.”
Masimo filed a complaint in 2021 accusing Apple of using its patented technology in the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen tracking feature without permission.
In October 2022, the ITC issued importation and sales ban orders that would prohibit certain Apple Watches with the blood oxygen app from being sold in the U.S. Apple plans to appeal the ITC decision, arguing that restricting Apple Watch sales could negatively impact users who rely on its health features.
The pause on U.S. sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models does not impact other countries or other Apple Watch models like the SE.
Apple stated it will take all measures to return the watches to American customers as soon as possible if the ban holds.
The company’s wearables segment brought in over $9 billion in revenue last quarter.
Masimo said the ITC’s actions show that even large companies must follow IP laws. Apple filed lawsuits against Masimo last year over its own smartwatch.