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Apple to halt Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales

Apple is halting sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US later this week, ahead of an import ban.

apple watch ultra series 2 on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

You’ve got until later this week to pick up an Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple in the U.S. After that, they won’t be available.

You might wonder why Apple would halt sales of its wildly successful Apple Watch models. Well, 9to5Mac reports that Apple is complying with an ITC decision banning Apple from importing these models.

The decision comes from a long-running patent dispute between Apple and a medical company, Masimo, over the technology in the blood oxygen sensor used in the Apple Watch.

It’s worth mentioning that while this ruling bans Apple from importing these devices, it doesn’t affect retailer outlets, which will still carry the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are the subject of import bans

Apple Series 9 in purple background
Image: Apple / KnowTechie

This long-running legal fight over technology in the Apple Watch doesn’t appear to be over. It stretches back to when the two companies were potentially collaborators before the first Apple Watch was released.

Masimo’s blood oxygen sensor technology is used in many hospitals, so it’sApple would have liked to use it in the Apple Watch. What’s not clear is if Masimo’s patent infringement claims are valid.

Reuters reported in September of this year that the U.S. Patent Office had invalidated several of the patents held by Masimo and subject to this ongoing litigation.

But this wasn’t the only prong of Masimo’s attack, and the U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to implement an import ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

While the start date of the ITC ban hasn’t been announced, the 60-day Presidential Review Period runs out on December 25. Apple is preemptively complying with the order.

So, you won’t be able to order the Apple Watch Series 9 starting at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21, from Apple’s website in the U.S. And Apple Store locations will stop selling them on December 24.

Only Apple is affected by the order for not selling these Apple Watch models after December 25, but all imports are halted at that time so that other retailers won’t be getting any new stock either.

The ITC ban hasn’t gone into effect yet, and it’s unclear if President Biden will veto the ITC’s ruling.

The last time an ITC ban was vetoed involved Apple and Biden, although he was Vice-President at the time, when President Obama vetoed a ban on the iPhone (via 9to5Mac).

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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