Apple to halt sales of new watches due to patent infringement lawsuit

US ITC issues limited exclusion order banning Apple from importing, selling or distributing Apple Watch Series 7 and 8 in US
An undated image illustrating The Apple Watch Series 9. — Apple
An undated image illustrating The Apple Watch Series 9. — Apple

Apple has been ordered to halt sales of its latest Apple Watch models in the US due to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by a company called Omni MedSci. The company claims that Apple’s technology for measuring blood oxygen levels and heart rate infringes on its patents.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a limited exclusion order on Friday, banning Apple from importing, selling or distributing the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 in the US. The order will take effect in 60 days, unless it is overturned by the US president or a federal court.

Apple said it plans to appeal the decision and that it expects no impact on the availability of its products. The company also said that Omni MedSci’s patents are invalid and that it does not use the technology described in them.

Impact of lawsuit on Apple Watch customers

If the order is not reversed, customers in the US may not be able to buy the newest Apple Watch models, which were launched in September and October 2023. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 features a larger and brighter display, faster charging and improved durability, while the Apple Watch Series 8 adds new health features such as blood pressure monitoring and body temperature sensing.

Customers who already own the affected Apple Watch models will not be affected by the order, as it only applies to new imports and sales. However, they may face difficulties in getting warranty service or repairs if Apple runs out of inventory or parts.

Customers outside the US will not be affected by the order, as it only applies to the US market. However, they may experience delays or shortages in supply if Apple prioritises other regions over the US.

Alternatives to Apple Watch Series 7 and 8

Customers who are looking for an alternative to the Apple Watch may consider other smartwatches that offer similar features and functions. Some of the popular options include:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: This Android-based smartwatch has a sleek design, a rotating bezel for navigation, and a range of health and fitness features, including blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram (ECG) and body composition analysis.

Fitbit Versa 3: This affordable smartwatch works with both Android and iOS devices, and has a long battery life, a bright touchscreen, and a built-in GPS. It also tracks heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep quality, stress levels and more.

Garmin Venu 2: This sporty smartwatch is designed for active users, with a durable and water-resistant design, a high-resolution display, and over 25 sports modes. It also measures blood oxygen, body battery, respiration, hydration and more.