Next Generation Apple Watch No Longer Available in the US!

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Apple has announced that it will stop selling some Apple Watch products as of December 21 due to a patent dispute over the devices' blood oxygen monitor.The next generation Apple Watch models include a feature that allows users to measure the amount of oxygen in their blood. The device uses light emitters and sensors to measure the percentage of oxygen in the blood, providing users with information about their overall health.

The body requires a certain amount of oxygen in the blood to function properly, and low levels of oxygen in the blood can lead to serious health problems. This is the feature that pitted Apple against medical device manufacturer Masimo. Apple marketed this feature of the smartwatch as 'life-saving'. Masimo claimed that they own the patent for the technology that measures oxygen in the blood through light emitters. The company sued Apple in 2021.

According to the lawsuit, Apple contacted Masimo in 2013 and wanted to set up talks for a potential collaboration, but these talks went nowhere. Shortly after these meetings, Apple hired two executives and an engineer working at Masimo. Masimo claimed that Apple kidnapped its employees in order to illegally copy the technology. Apple denied these allegations and said that other companies had been approached to build the device that measures oxygen in the blood.

A separate patent case was heard last May, but the jury there was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. In that case, it emerged that Apple had at one point considered acquiring Masimo, but later dropped the idea. Apple has repeatedly denied Masimo's allegations. Last October, however, the US International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had infringed Masimo's patents. The US International Trade Commission advises the White House and Congress on intellectual property disputes and is overseen by the President.

Outcome of the Case

As of December 26, an import ban would have been imposed on Apple Watch products containing this feature. Apple decided to act early and withdraw its products from the market before the ban came. "Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models will not be soldon Apple.comstarting December 21 and in Apple stores after December 24," Apple said in a statement to NPR. "This decision shows that even the most powerful company in the world must obey the law," a spokesperson for Masimo said in a statement.

Apple opposed the commission's decision and asked the Biden administration to reverse it. The White House has until the Christmas holidays to act on the decision. Previously purchased Apple Watch products that include this feature will not be affected.

Source: U.S. International Trade Commission, Apple, NPR, CNN, Wired

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