Apple halts Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales in U.S. Apple Stores ahead of ITC ban

Apple halts Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales in U.S. Apple Stores ahead of ITC ban

technology By Dec 25, 2023 No Comments

Apple Halts Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 Sales in U.S. Apple Stores

Apple has made the decision to cease the sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 at its U.S. Apple Stores in preparation for an anticipated ban imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC). The ban is expected to come into effect on December 25, preventing the import and sale of the aforementioned models. This measure is in response to a patent infringement case involving medical technology company Masimo.

Suspension of Online Sales

On December 21, Apple took the proactive step of suspending online sales of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 as part of a planned withdrawal of these models from the U.S. market. The decision was made in compliance with the impending ban on the import and sale of these products. The company is adhering to its previous advice by ceasing the sales of the affected models from its U.S. Apple Stores.

Impact of the ITC Ruling

The ITC ruling comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by Masimo against Apple, alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets related to the blood pulse oximeter technology incorporated in the Apple Watch. The lawsuit, initially filed in 2020, culminated in an ITC ruling in January 2023 favoring Masimo. Consequently, the ban will apply specifically to Apple Watch models featuring the blood pulse oximeter, while models not utilizing this component – such as the Apple Watch SE – will remain unaffected.

Lingering Uncertainty and Potential Veto

The ban, scheduled to take effect on December 25, remains subject to the possibility of a presidential veto. The White House holds the authority to either allow the ban to proceed or to intercede and permit sales to continue. Furthermore, Apple‘s ability to appeal the ITC ruling is contingent upon the White House’s decision. It is crucial for Apple to pursue an appeal, as failure to contest the ban may result in its enforcement until the expiration of the pertinent patent in August 2028.

Repercussions and Market Implications

The prohibition on the import and sale of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S. will have ramifications for both Apple and its consumers. While Apple will face constraints on introducing new stock into the country and selling the affected models, retailers holding existing inventory will still have the ability to sell the products, albeit limited to their current holdings. Customers seeking these specific models may experience disruptions, with availability contingent upon remaining stock held by authorized retailers.

Long-Term Strategy and Potential Remediation

For Apple, navigating this regulatory challenge necessitates a strategic approach. The company is compelled to assess the implications of the ITC ruling and consider the most effective course of action to mitigate potential losses. This may involve pursuing legal recourse to contest the ban and seeking alternative solutions to maintain its presence in the wearable technology market.

Conclusion

As Apple prepares for the impending ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, the company is confronted with the imperative to address the regulatory barriers affecting these models. The impending ban, originating from a patent infringement case, underscores the complexities and legal intricacies inherent in the technology industry. The outcome of the ban and its implications will greatly influence Apple‘s market performance and its capacity to navigate regulatory challenges in the future.

Source: appleinsider

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