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Apple’s 2023 Watch Sale on Hold, but Company Seeking Solutions

In a surprising announcement, Apple revealed that it plans to withdraw the 2023 Apple Watch models from sale in the United States before the holidays. This decision comes after a ruling that the devices infringe on patents held by health tech company Masimo. However, the company has stated that there may be potential ways to avoid this withdrawal from happening.

The legal battle between Apple and Masimo dates back to 2020 when Masimo sued Apple for stealing trade secrets and infringing on 10 patents. The lawsuit resulted in a court ruling against Apple on one of the claims, leading to a ban on the import and sale of Apple Watches set to take effect on December 25.

Apple has denied the claims and has even filed a counterclaim of its own, alleging that Masimo’s W1 Advanced Health Tracking Watch infringes multiple Apple patents. However, in light of the impending ban, Apple has announced its intention to halt sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S.

Nevertheless, Apple is exploring potential solutions to this situation. One possibility is a presidential veto, in which the U.S. President has the power to overturn the ban. Another option being considered is a software workaround that would change the way the Apple Watch takes blood oxygen readings in order to comply with Masimo’s patent. Additionally, Apple could issue a firmware update to disable the blood oxygen measurement feature, although this could lead to customer dissatisfaction.

Lastly, Apple could seek to negotiate a patent license from Masimo, allowing the company to continue the sale of its devices. While this option has not been fully explored, it remains a potential avenue for resolving the legal dispute.

By announcing its intention to withdraw the 2023 Apple Watch models from sale, Apple aims to apply pressure on the U.S. President to issue a last-minute veto. However, the company also continues to pursue alternative solutions to ensure the availability of its products. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold, but Apple is actively seeking ways to address the situation and avoid the withdrawal of its popular smartwatches from the market.