Apple makes surprise decision to pause some Watch sales before Christmas over patent dispute

Apple has reportedly paused sales of some of its Watch models in the lead-up to Christmas due to a patent dispute. The surprise decision affects the company’s Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Nike+ and Apple Watch Hermes.

The dispute is linked to a patent infringement case that Apple is battling with patent holder WOFEI Technology (WOFEI) over the technology used in certain components of the Watch. Apple has reportedly implemented a temporary measure to suspend sales of certain Watch models in order to resolve the issue.

The affected retailers include Apple itself, as well as several independent resellers. It is not yet clear when the Watch models will become available again.

Apple has not issued an official statement on the matter, but a statement from WOFEI Technology to Bloomberg revealed some further details. “Apple had a technical infringement on our patent right and we have asked them to stop selling Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Nike+ and Apple Watch Hermes,” the statement reads.

The company also clarified that the dispute is limited to Apple’s smartwatches and does not extend to other products in the company’s lineup.