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Apple has recently faced a setback in the US, with a court ruling against the inclusion of the blood oxygen feature in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. Despite this, Apple is taking proactive steps to ensure minimal disruption for customers while complying with the ruling. Here’s a breakdown of the situation and Apple’s response.
A US appeals court has rejected Apple’s request to halt the ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, which was imposed as a result of an ITC ruling. This ruling stated that Apple’s blood oxygen sensor infringes on patents owned by medical device company Masimo.
As of January 18 at 5 p.m. ET, Apple is prohibited from selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 with pulse oximetry features in the US. However, Apple is not letting this obstacle hinder its operations.
In response to the ban, Apple has decided to offer the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US without the blood oxygen feature. This strategic move aims to comply with the ruling while ensuring customers can still access these popular products with minimal disruption.
Apple has affirmed that the appeal process is ongoing, expressing confidence that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will overturn the USITC’s decision. Despite their disagreement with the ruling, Apple is taking steps to comply while minimizing the impact on customers.
Starting from January 18 at 6 a.m. PT, customers can purchase the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 without the Blood Oxygen feature on apple.com. These modified models will also be available in Apple Stores from the same date. Notably, this change only affects units sold in the United States.
Apple emphasizes that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 without the blood oxygen feature will still include the Blood Oxygen app. However, when users tap on it, they will receive a message redirecting them to the Health app on their iPhone for more information.
The US Customs Agency has ruled that the proposed software change to remove the blood oxygen feature falls outside the scope of the ITC ruling. This change will be implemented through a firmware update, allowing Apple to navigate the legal challenges.
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