Apple Watch ban takes effect: Here’s which models are impacted and why – NBC News

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A California-based medical monitoring company says Apple’s pulse reader on its Ultra 2 and Series 9 watch models infringes on its technology.

An Apple Watch Ultra 2 smartwatch on display in New York.Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dec. 26, 2023, 2:59 PM UTC / Source: NBC News

By Rob Wile

The U.S. has officially banned imports of certain Apple Watch models after the Biden administration declined to veto an agency’s decision to restrict the products.

The affected watches come with a pulse oximeter feature that reads blood-oxygen levels. Apple has included the feature in every watch since its 2020 Series 6 model.

At issue is a complaint by the California-based medical monitoring technology company Masimo that the pulse reader feature infringes on its pulse-oximeter technology, which is designed to monitor blood oxygen levels.

In October, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that the Apple products must be excluded from the U.S. marketplace based on evidence of infringement. That decision, which went into effect Tuesday, would have needed a presidential veto to be overturned.

Apple ended direct U.S. sales of affected Ultra 2 and Series 9 watches last week.

In a statement, Apple said it is appealing the trade commission decision, though it already rejected a request to pause the ban during the appeals process. Apple is also suing Masimo.

The Apple Watch SE will continue to be sold directly by Apple.

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