Apple has decided to temporarily pause the U.S. sales of two of its latest Apple Watches, the Series 9 and Ultra 2, due to an intellectual property dispute over their Blood Oxygen feature. The decision comes in response to two orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on October 26, which would restrict Apple’s ability to sell products featuring the Blood Oxygen feature following a disagreement with medical technology company Masimo.
The White House had 60 days to review the restrictions, but Apple chose to initiate the pause earlier to ensure compliance with the ITC ruling. The online sales of the affected Apple Watches will pause on Thursday, with in-store sales halted after Sunday.
If the ITC’s decision stands, one order would prevent Apple and its affiliates from importing watches with the Blood Oxygen feature and the materials used to make it. The second order is a cease and desist directive instructing Apple to stop selling the products featuring the Blood Oxygen feature.
Apple’s wearables, home, and accessories unit is the company’s third-largest revenue generator, contributing $9.3 billion in the last quarter. The company expressed strong disagreement with the ITC’s order and stated it is pursuing legal and technical options to ensure the availability of Apple Watch to customers. People who have already purchased the affected Apple Watches will not face any issues with their products, and there is no change to the availability of the models outside of the U.S.
Masimo responded to the ITC ruling, stating that it shows “even the world’s most powerful company must abide by the law.”