The US has upheld a ban on the sale of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches due to a patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo.

Apple was initially allowed to sell the watches while the legal battle continued, but a US appeals court has reversed that decision.

Imports of the watches are also affected by the ban.

Apple has said it will release versions of the watches without the disputed blood oxygen feature to comply with the ruling.

The dispute centers on allegations that Apple poached key staff and stole technology from Masimo.

The US International Trade Commission had previously ruled that Apple had violated some patent rights.

Apple's watches have included the blood oxygen feature since 2020, but the SE model does not.

The ban went into effect on January 19, 2024.

Apple said it "strongly disagreed" with the ruling but is taking steps to comply.

Apple is now the world's largest smartphone maker, having overtaken Samsung for the first time in 12 years.