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Apple banned from selling its latest watches in US

Apple was banned from selling its latest watches in the US as of Tuesday after the Biden administration declined to veto a ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ban on sales of the Watch Ultra 2 and Watch Series 9 is the result of a patent dispute between Apple and medical technology company Masimo.

The ITC in October upheld a judge’s ruling in January that Apple violated Masimo’s rights in technology for reading blood-oxygen levels.

Masimo sued Apple for patent infringement at the ITC in 2021 over the Apple Watch Series 6, the first model to feature blood-oxygen monitoring capabilities.

“On October 26, 2023, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Apple, Inc. infringed two patents owned by Masimo Corporation and Cercacor Laboratories, Inc, both based in the United States. Since 2005, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has been delegated the President’s authority under Section 337 of the Trade Act of 1930 to review the ITC’s decision for a 60-day period.”

After consultations, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai “decided not to reverse the ITC’s determination and the ITC’s decision became final on Dec. 26, 2023,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a statement.

Masimo initially sued Apple in federal court in 2020, accusing it of poaching its employees and of stealing trade secrets in regards to its light-based technology for measuring blood-oxygen levels.

Apple on Tuesday filed an appeal and is reportedly working on a software solution to resume sales.