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Apple Pauses US Sales of Two Watch Models Over a Patent Dispute

Lindokuhle Mkhize

Lindokuhle Mkhize

20 December 20232 min read

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Apple Watch patent dispute

In recent news, Apple has temporarily suspended the sales of two of its popular Apple Watch models in the United States due to an ongoing patent dispute. This move results from a recent ruling against two Apple watch patents, which the company plans to appeal.

The dispute is between the tech giant Apple and Masimo, a medical technology company specializing in noninvasive monitoring technologies. Masimo claims that Apple infringed on its patented technology related to health monitoring in the Apple Watches.

Unwilling to accept the recent ruling, Apple has appealed the court's decision. This move comes as the case moves into presidential review. Apple believes the disputed patents are invalid and intends to make its case at the appellate level.

Apple said in a statement provided to 9to5Mac on Monday that the 60-day presidential review period of the ITC decision ends on Dec. 25 and is preemptively taking steps to comply with the ruling should it stand. As such, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales from starting Dec. 21 and from Apple retail locations after Dec. 24 are paused.

"Apple's teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features," the company said. "Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers."

Other Apple Watch patent disputes

The patent dispute is not the first time Apple has been involved in conflicts with medical technology companies over its smartwatch technology. Over the years, Apple has faced legal battles with other companies, including Fitbit and Immersion Corp, over various patent infringement claims related to smartwatch features and functionality.

The ongoing dispute between Masimo and Apple extends beyond patents. It stems from a failed collaboration earlier on between the two companies. Masimo claims that Apple initially showed interest in a partnership, but the negotiations failed. According to court documents, Masimo held meetings with Apple in 2013 about using the medical technology company's tools in Apple products, but the talks broke down. Later, Apple hired two Masimo executives and key engineers.

This failed business arrangement has fueled the friction between the two companies, leading to the current legal battle. The case is Masimo Corp. v. Apple Inc., 8:20-cv-00048, US District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

Apple is in the spotlight once again

As the company plans to appeal the ruling and the case awaits presidential review, how this legal battle will unfold remains to be seen. In the meantime, customers can explore the Apple Watch through a free customizable service in Apple Studio, making an informed decision when purchasing this popular wearable device.

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Lindokuhle Mkhize, a skilled creative copywriter and content lead at Trademarkia, brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and managing teams. With previous success in starting and growing the Innovation and Marketing department at her former creative agency, Lindokuhle boasts expertise in leadership and delivering compelling content. Based in South Africa, Lindokuhle's work focuses on key themes of creativity, effective communication, and strategic marketing.