Apple has hit a snag with its latest wearable tech.
A patent clash means these Apple Watch models are banned in the US
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to put the brakes on the cutting-edge Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watch models, following a patent clash with medical technology company Masimo Corp.
Apparently, Apple’s innovative light technology, used for checking blood oxygen levels, has treaded on the patent toes of Masimo.
This gives the tech giant a slim window to challenge the decision or innovate a detour. Imagine the scene: a high-stakes game of legal “hot potato” but with pricier stakes and technological complexities.
The specific Apple Watch models caught in this legal web weren’t detailed by the ITC, but Masimo’s initial complaint highlighted the Apple Watch Series 6 for patent infringement—a case of being fashionably late with legal action.
Reacting to this development, Apple has decided to hit pause on the sale of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the US. This move, coming right before the holiday rush, could leave some Apple fans feeling like they got a lump of coal in their high-tech stockings.
What are the implications of the ban?
The implications of the Apple Watch ban in the US for users who have already purchased the affected models are not entirely clear.
However, it is important to note that the ban primarily affects the import and sale of new Apple Watches with the disputed blood oxygen sensor technology.
This includes the Series 6 and later models. Existing owners of these models may not be directly impacted in terms of using their devices, but they might face challenges if the ban influences software updates or support services in the future.
Regarding international sales, the ban issued by the ITC only applies to imports into the United States. This means that sales of the affected Apple Watch models in other countries should not be directly impacted by this US-specific ruling.
Apple continues to sell its devices worldwide, and the import ban is limited to the US market. Thus, international customers should still be able to purchase the latest Apple Watch models, including the Series 9 and Ultra 2, without any restriction stemming from this particular legal issue.