Apple Watch sales ban will be suspended until January 10, 2024

Apple Watch Ultra featured image

The manufacturers Apple and Masimo are currently at the center of a legal dispute according to Bloomberg has now taken a surprising turn. An appeals court in Washington temporarily suspended an order from the US Trade Commission banning the sale of the Apple Watch Series 27.12.2023 and Ultra 9 in the USA on Wednesday (December 2, XNUMX). This decision comes as Apple seeks a lengthy delay pending a decision on its appeal against this restriction.

Photo: United States International Trade Commission
Photo: United States International Trade Commission

$17 billion in sales per year

The Apple Watch is without question a central product in Apple's portfolio, which is also made clear by the annual revenue from the sale of these various watch models, as Apple generates around $17 billion in sales annually with it. To understand: Apple's total global sales in 2023 were $383,3 billion.

The current sales ban resulted from a patent dispute with medical technology manufacturer Masimo Corp. The US Trade Commission (ITC) found in October that Apple had infringed two of Masimo's patents with a blood oxygen sensor in its watches. But the actual legal dispute has been going on for several years.

Masimo share price plummets

After the temporary suspension of the sales ban was announced, Masimo shares fell as much as 6,3%. This reflects the market's reaction to the legal development and the potential impact on Masimo's business.

This significant change in policy not only reflects the market's immediate reaction to the latest legal developments, but also demonstrates investors' sensitivity to uncertainties in this patent dispute. Ultimately, the dispute also poses a high financial risk for Masimo if Apple manages to invalidate the company's patents.

At the center of the legal dispute are patents that also affect the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (Photo: Ricardo Resende).
At the center of the legal dispute are patents that also affect the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (Photo: Ricardo Resende).

Apple wants to counteract this with a software update

Apple responded to the original ban by stopping sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches on its online store and in US retail stores. Online sales stopped on December 21st, and the last day to purchase a new watch at an Apple retail store was Christmas Eve.

Interestingly, Apple has developed a software update for the Apple Watch that the company believes could mitigate the patent issue. This update has been submitted to US Customs for review. The agency's decision on whether to approve or reject the changes is expected on January 12.

The managing director of Masimo is critical of this step because he sees it as an infringement of patents that are based on hardware and therefore cannot be remedied by software updates.

How things will develop in January 2024 remains exciting.

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