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Officially, Apple Has Stopped Selling the Newest Apple Watch in the United States.

After President Joe Biden failed to issue a last-minute emergency order to keep the best-selling smartwatch on store shelves, the time is running out on the newest Apple Watch.

A US International Trade Commission decision that forbids Apple from selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, among other more recent models, because they infringe upon patents held by another company, must be overturned by President Joe Biden by the end of Christmas Day. But Biden did not step in, as was to be expected.

Apple’s online store had already taken down the offending Watch models, and when Apple stores reopened on Tuesday, they were empty of the priciest, newest versions. Although the cheaper Apple Watch SE—which was excluded from the ruling—is still obtainable, the restriction is limited to Apple Watch Series 6 and later models, as well as all Apple Watch Ultra variations.

The US International Trade Commission declared in October that Apple had violated a patent pertaining to a pulse oximeter, a device that measures blood oxygen levels using light-based technology. Masimo is the patent holder. Masimo makes medical devices.

Other companies are still selling the Apple Watches that they have left in-store and online, including Amazon and Best Buy. However, Apple is not allowed to import more smartwatches into the US as a result of the ITC order.

Apple has consistently promoted its smartwatch as a life-saving tool, which has helped propel the device into the stratosphere and make it the most widely-sold watch globally. However, its conflict with Masimo puts that in jeopardy.

In preparation for the verdict, Apple decided to start proactively removing the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models of the Apple Watch from stock on December 18. The 60-day window for reviewing the ITC’s decision closes on Monday if Biden doesn’t step in.

At the time, the business released a statement stating, “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.” However, Apple (AAPL) also promised to “take all necessary steps” to quickly restore the Apple Watch to US consumers.

In order to avoid infringing on Masimo’s patent, the business might be able to make software adjustments, such as altering how the Watch communicates with the pulse oximeter. However, it might take some time for this to happen, and there’s no assurance that the ITC will approve Apple’s suggested remedy.

There is some precedent for a president to reverse the ITC, even though Biden did not intervene. President Barack Obama overruled an ITC decision in 2013 that would have banned older models of iPhones and iPads after the agency found that Apple had violated a patent owned by Samsung.



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