Apple loses bid to thwart patent dispute that will stop US sales of two watch models

Apple has been rebuffed in its latest attempt to untangle a patent dispute that is pushing the company into suspending sales of two popular Apple Watch models as the holiday shopping season wraps up.

The International Trade Commission rejected Apple’s bid to get around a late October order revolving around the technology used in the Blood Oxygen measurement feature on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 versions of its internet-connected watch.

The dispute stems from a patent infringement claim filed in 2021 by medical technology company Masimo, culminating in a US ban on Apple using the technology that makes the Blood Oxygen feature work on those two watches

The decision issued Wednesday means Apple will follow through on its plan to stop selling two watch models in the US to comply with the ITC ruling, unless the Biden administration overturns it by Christmas.

Online sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are scheduled to stop at 3 pm EST Thursday and the devices will be pulled from store shelves Sunday. The less sophisticated Apple Watch will remain available in the US after Christmas Eve. Previously purchased Apple Watches equipped with the Blood Oxygen aren’t affected by the ITC order.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimates Apple’s holiday-season sales will be reduced by $300 million and $400 million if the patent dispute results in the two watch models being pulled from the US market during the final week of the year.

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