Watch Series 9: Apple’s last-minute appeal to escape ban got rejected

    A patent dispute is going to make the new Apple Watch models more difficult than usual to find this holiday season.

    A last-minute appeal from Apple to stop the U.S. sales and import ban on the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 was denied by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Wednesday. 


    Apple pauses sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 over patent dispute

    On Monday, Apple announced it would indefinitely pause sales on these Apple Watch models, but sought to circumvent the ban by appealing the ITC’s decision on a patent dispute with medical-technology company, Masimo.

    Apple has been embroiled in this dispute for years with Masimo over the latter’s blood-oxygen sensor technology patents. Apple lost court battles with Masimo, and in late October, the ITC upheld a judge’s decision that Apple had infringed on Masimo’s patents. 

    You’re running out of time to get the new Apple Watch

    On Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, the Apple Store website will stop selling its newest generation of smartwatches: the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. Then, Apple’s physical stores will also pull the product from sale entirely on Dec. 24.

    Third-party retailers, like Amazon and Best Buy, can continue to sell the devices. However, once their stock runs out, Apple will be unable to replenish it for as long as the patent dispute goes on.

    According to one analyst, however, the pause could cost Apple a total of around $300 to $400 million in the company’s holiday sales. This is a rather minuscule amount for Apple, which is estimated to bring in around $120 billion in sales this holiday season.

    Apple consumers who have the new Apple Watch on their Christmas list may have to settle for the Apple Watch SE model, which is not affected by the sales ban. The Apple Watch SE model does not have the blood-oxygen sensor capabilities, so it’s not involved in the patent dispute and will continue to be sold.

    Aside from settling with Masimo, Apple does have one last out in this dispute: A veto from the President. 

    The Biden Administration has 60 days from the ITC’s late October ruling to review the decision. The deadline, December 25, is fast approaching though. So, Apple would need somewhat of a Christmas miracle to keep the Apple Watch on sale without settling with Masimo for what would likely be a hefty monetary sum.

    Read the full article here

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