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Apple fulfills promise by discontinuing Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 from U.S. online Apple Stores

Recently, an International Trade Commission (ITC) judge sides with Masimo over Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models, ruling that Apple has infringed on patents owned by Masimo for the pulse oximeter used on some Apple Watch models. The ITC imposed an import ban on these models in the U.S., beginning from December 26th. President Joe Biden could still decide to veto the import ban.

Apple has decided to start the ban early and has removed the offending devices from the U.S. online Apple Store. Physical Apple Stores in the U.S. will also stop selling these products starting on December 24th. Third-party retailers in the U.S. are allowed to continue selling the affected Apple Watch models until their supplies run out.

It’s worth noting that the second-generation Apple Watch SE, although released at the same time as the affected models, is not affected by the import ban because it does not include the pulse oximeter feature.

Moving forward, Apple is exploring legal and technical options in an attempt to get the affected Apple Watch models back on store shelves. The company is reportedly looking at making changes to the pulse oximeter’s algorithms and software to avoid infringing on Masimo’s patent. However, it remains uncertain if a software fix will resolve the patent infringement ruling that is based on hardware.

Apple could also consider sitting down with Masimo to discuss a settlement and a licensing deal; however, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani has expressed that he wants Apple to apologize before any such discussions take place.

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