US Upholds Apple Watch Ban

The tech giant was earlier allowed to sell its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches while proceedings were ongoing.

US Upholds Apple Watch Ban

Apple has been barred from selling two smartwatch models in the United States again while a patent dispute is still being litigated, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The tech giant was previously permitted to sell its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches while hearings were ongoing, but a US appeals court has recently overruled that ruling. Watch imports have also been affected.

Apple announced on Thursday that it will offer watches without the contentious blood oxygen feature in order to keep them on shelves.

It is the latest development in a dispute between the firm and medical technology company Masimo.

Masimo and its spin-off, Cercacor, have accused Apple of poaching key employees and stealing technology created to assess oxygen levels in the blood.

In October, the US International Trade Commission acknowledged that Apple had violated some patent rights and issued an injunction prohibiting some imports and sales. This was supposed to take effect in late December, but it was postponed while the appeal was pending.

Since 2020, the feature has been available on most Apple watches, including the Series 9 and Ultra 2. The SE model doesn't.

Beginning Thursday at 17:00 ET (22:00 GMT), the impacted watches will be unavailable for import.

Joe Kiani, Masimo's founder and CEO, stated that the verdict demonstrated that "even the largest and most powerful companies must respect the intellectual rights of American inventors and must deal with the consequences when they are caught infringing others' patents."

Apple stated that it "strongly disagreed" with the US International Trade Commission's finding that it had violated certain patent rights.

"Pending the appeal, Apple is taking steps to comply with the ruling while ensuring customers have access to Apple Watch with limited disruption," according to a statement released by the company.

Apple now controls the majority of the worldwide smartphone market, knocking Samsung off the top spot for the first time in 12 years.

It accounted for more than a quarter of all phones delivered last year, according to data released this week by the International Data Corporation.

This article was originally published on the BBC.