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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 return to shelves following court decision

Apple has resumed sales of its latest smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, in select physical stores.

Apple has resumed sales of its latest smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, in select physical stores. This move comes after a federal appeals court temporarily lifted a sales and import ban that had been imposed on both devices. The ban, initiated by the US International Trade Commission, alleged patent violations related to medical device technology owned by Masimo.

Legal Battle and Sales Halt

The legal saga began when Apple faced a ban on selling the Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the United States, effective December 26th. The US International Trade Commission determined that Apple had infringed on Masimo’s patents, specifically those related to a blood oxygen saturation sensor integrated into the smartwatches. This sensor has been a flagship feature since the Series 6, released in late 2020. Apple swiftly removed the affected models from both physical and online stores in compliance with the ban.

Read More: Apple banned from selling its latest watches in US

Appeals Court Intervention

Hours after the ban took effect, a federal appeals court intervened, allowing Apple to resume sales temporarily while awaiting a decision on proposed changes to the watches that could potentially address the patent concerns. Apple spokesperson Nikki Rothberg conveyed that the US Customs and Border Protection is slated to rule on these proposed modifications by January 12th. If the changes prove satisfactory, the ban may be lifted. However, if further deliberation is needed on the patent dispute, the ban might be prolonged for several months.

Apple’s Response 

In response to the legal challenges, Rothberg highlighted Apple’s commitment to developing cutting-edge technology that prioritizes users’ health, wellness, and safety. Apple has been a trailblazer in integrating health features into its smartwatches, with the blood oxygen saturation sensor being a key component. The company is optimistic about the ongoing legal proceedings and has expressed gratitude for the temporary stay on the exclusion order.

Impact on Consumers and Third-Party Retailers

During the ban, third-party retailers were permitted to continue selling existing stock of Apple Watches, providing a lifeline for consumers seeking the popular wearables. However, the looming import ban threatened to disrupt the supply chain and limit the availability of these devices even through third-party channels.

Read More: Apple will halt sales of Apple Watch in retail outlets on December 24th

The recent legal developments surrounding Apple’s smartwatches have created a whirlwind of uncertainty for both the tech giant and its consumers. As the court deliberates on the proposed changes to the watches and the patent dispute, the fate of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 remains in the balance. For now, enthusiasts and users can once again purchase these latest Apple Watches from select physical stores, with online sales set to resume. The technology community awaits the final decision, which will undoubtedly shape the future trajectory of smartwatch innovation and patent protection in the industry.