Patent row forces Apple to halt sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2

Apple Watch Series 9
(Image credit: Apple)

If you’re thinking of buying someone one of the latest Apple watches for Christmas, you better act fast.

Apple is withdrawing its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches from sale in the United States following a ruling in a patent case between Apple and medical technology company Masimo.

The Series 9 and Ultra 2 will no longer be available from 21 December online and 24 December in retail stores across the States.

The dispute, which has been ongoing for a couple of years, is over the SpO2 sensors used on the Apple Watch since their introduction on the Series 6.

The halt in sales comes after the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that these two watch models’ use of blood oxygen tracking violated a patent from health technology company Masimo. This feature lets users ensure that their red blood cells have a normal amount of oxygen in them.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

If you want an Apple Watch Ultra 2 for Christmas, act fast (Image credit: Apple)

Masimo, which claimed that Apple violated a patent with its blood oxygen monitoring feature, filed the lawsuit against Apple in 2020 to the Central District of California and a case to the International Trade Commission (ITC) in 2021.

The ITC ruled in favor of Masimo in October. However, the ruling gave President Biden 60 days to review the patent violations and potentially veto it, which, if it’s going to happen, needs to happen by Christmas Day.

With this looking increasingly unlikely (well, he’s probably too busy wrapping presents) Apple is taking pre-emptive steps by removing the current Series 9 and Ultra 2 from sale.

The Apple Watch SE is unaffected because it doesn’t have blood oxygen sensors.

It’s currently unclear when the two watches might become available again, and whether Apple will have to remove the offending sensors or come to a deal with Masimo.