• Associated Press

Apple to Stop Some Watch Sales in US over Patent Dispute

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File
The Apple logo is illuminated at a store in the city center of Munich, Germany, Dec. 16, 2020.

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — If two of the latest Apple Watches are on your holiday shopping list, don’t dawdle for much longer because the devices won’t be available to buy in the U.S. later this week if the White House doesn’t intervene in an international patent dispute.

Apple plans to suspend sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 versions of its popular watch for online U.S. customers beginning Thursday afternoon and in its stores on Sunday. The move stems from an October decision by the International Trade Commission restricting Apple’s watches with the Blood Oxygen measurement feature as part of an intellectual property dispute with medical technology company Masimo.

The White House had 60 days to review the ITC order issued on Oct. 26, meaning Apple could have kept selling the two affected models in the U.S. through Christmas. But the Cupertino, California, company said in a Monday statement that it is pausing sales early to ensure it complies with the ITC order.

If the ITC’s sales ban isn’t overturned, Apple pledged to “take all measures” to resume sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the U.S. as soon as possible.

The Apple Watch SE, which lacks the Blood Oxygen feature, will remain on sale in the U.S. after Christmas Eve. Previously purchased Apple Watches equipped with the Blood Oxygen aren’t affected by the ITC order.