Skip to main content

Send us a Topic or Tip

Have a suggestion for the blog? Perhaps a topic you'd like us to write about? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Fancy yourself a writer and have a tech tip, handy computer trick, or "how to" to share? Let us know what you'd like to contribute!

Thanks for reaching out!

Apple Forced to Halt Apple Watch Sales Due to Patent Dispute

Apple made the surprising announcement today that it will soon halt sales of its latest Apple Watch models in the United States.

According to a scoop from 9to5Mac, “The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will no longer be available to order from Apple’s website in the U.S. after 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21. In-store inventory will no longer be available from Apple retail locations after December 24.”

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to buy a new Apple Watch at all though. For one, the halt in sales only applies to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, meaning that the second generation Apple Watch SE will continue to be sold. And all models—including the Series 9 and Ultra 2—can continue to be sold by third party retailers such as us here at MacSales and of course other retailers like Best Buy and Amazon as long as they have stock. (Here at MacSales, we’ve got great deals on the original generation Apple Watch Ultra and the Series 8.)

Apple’s decision to halt sale of its latest watch models comes as the result of a judge’s ruling in January of this year, followed by a ruling from the International Trade Commission in October upholding the initial ruling, finding that Apple had infringed upon patents held by a medical technology company called Masimo.

Masimo and Apple have been embroiled in this dispute for years, with Masimo claiming Apple infringed upon its blood oxygen sensor technology. The dispute culminated in lawsuits filed to a California US District Court in 2020 and to the ITC in 2021.

As part of the suits, Masimo sought to ban Apple from importing new Apple Watch models to the US for sale. The district court judge ruled in favor of Masimo in January and the ITC upheld the ruling in October. With the ITC’S ruling, the matter is now in the hands of the Biden Administration as part of a 60-day Presidential Review period.

During this review period, President Biden can choose to veto the ruling, allowing Apple to go on about its business. However, the Biden Administration has not yet vetoed the ruling and the review period expires on December 25; thus, Apple’s preemptive halt on sales.

Should the Biden Administration not veto the ruling, Apple could either appeal the ITC’s decision or work out a settlement or licensing deal with Masimo in order to resume sales of Series 9 and the Ultra 2.

Either way, in the near-term, buying an Apple Watch should remain easy enough. However, should the dispute continue into the new year and should third party retailer stock diminish with Apple still unable to sell its own stock or import new stock, things could get interesting.

To read more about the implications for Apple, check out 9to5Mac’s full report.

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
Be Sociable, Share This Post!

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

  • Whew! Glad I bought my Apple Watch Ultra 2 over a month ago. But do I have to worry when updating the OS?