Apple’s Smartwatch Dilemma: Series 9 and Ultra 2 Sold Without Key Health Feature Amid Patent Dispute

Srishti Dey
Srishti Dey January 19, 2024
Updated 2024/01/19 at 6:35 AM

Unexpectedly, Apple has begun offering its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches for sale in the US without the capacity to gauge blood oxygen saturation. This ruling stops Apple from including the blood oxygen monitoring technology in its most recent smartwatches that are marketed in the nation. It is a result of the continuing patent battle with the manufacturer of medical equipment, Masimo.

The Most Recent Apple Watches Lack a Health Feature

The blood oxygen level measurement feature was removed from Apple’s Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches that are sold in the United States as of January 18, 2024. Apple is attempting to resolve the patent issue with Masimo by removing this health function, which highlights the difficulties that tech companies encounter in court cases.

Notable Modifications to Product Listings

The product listings on Apple’s US purchasing page have changed, which prospective purchasers of these smartwatches will notice. It is specifically stated that the blood oxygen measuring capability is no longer accessible on units with part numbers ending in LW/A. Customers from other countries and those who already own Apple Watches won’t be impacted by this modification, though.

Effect of a Federal Court Ruling

This change in Apple’s product lineup is directly related to a ruling from a federal court that stops the company from continuing to actively contest Masimo’s patent claims while enforcing the ban on its smartwatches. This change to Apple’s smartwatch functionality was made necessary by the court’s decision in the patent infringement case, which centers on blood oxygen sensor technologies.

Masimo’s Charges and Prohibition of Imports

Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 Will Not be Available for Sale in  the US Starting December 21 - MySmartPrice
Masimo accused Apple of stealing its employees who were developing a comparable technology for the Apple Watch and violating its patent on blood oxygen monitoring. In response, the International Trade Commission (ITC) placed an import restriction on Apple, making it illegal for the business to import any Apple Watches that had blood oxygen sensors. Remarkably, the Apple Watch SE 2 is still available for purchase and is not affected by this prohibition.

Apple’s balancing act

The modification to Apple’s smartwatch features underscores the fine line that must be drawn between innovation and legal restraints as the company faces legal difficulties, including patent battles. The current drama makes us stop and consider the complexities that IT companies must deal with when handling intellectual property issues in a market that is highly competitive.

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