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The Apple Watch Series 9 will now be sold in the US without a working blood oxygen feature

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple has decided to sell new versions of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 watches in the US without a functioning blood oxygen feature. The decision was made a few hours after a court ordered a new US import ban on those smartwatches that was to begin today, January 18.

Bloomberg (via Yahoo) reported that starting today, Apple will keep selling the smartwatches online and in its retail stores. However, the blood oxygen tool in those products will now be disabled. The feature will continue to work on previously purchased Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the US, and the smartwatches will have a functioning blood oxygen tool when sold overseas.

This is just the latest turn in a rather wild series of events for Apple, in its containing patent fight with Masimo. That company claimed Apple violated its patents for its own blood oxygen monitoring technology. In October 2023, the US International Trade Commission ruled in Masimo's favor, and in December, Apple stopped selling the disputed smartwatches for a brief period of time to comply with the USITC's sale and import ban.

Later in December, a US appeals court agreed to a temporary injunction that put a pause on that ban. However, on Wednesday, the court declined to extend that temporary injunction, which meant Apple was facing yet another sales ban on those smartwatches.

While Apple may be disabling the blood oxygen tool from the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, it is not giving up the court fight with Masimo and the USITC. In a statement, a company spokesperson said:

Apple’s appeal is ongoing, and we believe the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit should reverse the USITC’s decision. We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting orders.

In the meantime, Apple's decision to disable the blood oxygen function will mean it can keep getting revenues from sales of its latest smartwatches.

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