Apple to stop some watch sales in US over patent dispute

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Apple announced Monday that it will suspend sales of two of its Watch models in the United States after being accused of copying blood-monitoring technology.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The products in question, the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, will no longer be available to US customers who buy online starting Thursday afternoon, and in-store sales will stop on Sunday.

This decision comes after the US International Trade Commission (USITC) recommended on October 27 that some Apple Watches should not be imported into the United States, as medical technology company Masimo accused Apple of copying its technologies.

The USITC issued a “limited exclusion order” against the watches, which was supposed to take effect after sixty days unless the U.S. government objected, California-based Masimo said at the time.

A review of this recommendation is currently underway at the White House, but Apple is suspending sales early.

“The (presidential) review period does not end until December 25, but Apple is taking preventative measures to comply with the decision if it is confirmed,” a spokesperson for the US group told AFP on Monday.

That said, if the ITC’s sales ban isn’t lifted, Apple has pledged to “take all measures” to resume sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the US as soon as possible.

The Apple Watch SE, without the Blood Oxygen feature, will remain on sale in the United States after Christmas Eve, and previously purchased Apple Watches equipped with the Blood Oxygen feature are not affected by the ITC order.

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