Apple has won a review of ECG patents claims filed by AliveCor. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office invalidated three AliveCor patents related to heart rate monitoring tech which were used in it International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint to seek an import ban on Apple Watch in the United States.
AliveCore is an American manufacturer of ECG-related medical equipment which launched its first medical accessory for the Apple Watch the “EKG Kardia band” in 2017 and a companion app “SmarthRhtym” which notified users to take an ECG on the smartwatch.
But when the tech giant introduced an ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018, AliveCor sued the company accusing it of changing the heart rate algorithm to kill the “EKG Kardia band” and illegally monopolizing the market for heart rate apps in 2021.
AliveCor also filed a complaint at the ITC to bar the importation of Apple Watch over the infringement of three AliveCor patents and got a ruling in its favor.
A ban on Apple Watch could be prevented after AliveCor’s patent claims were ruled invalid
In its June 2022 ruling, ITC issued an initial determination that the Cupertino tech giant infringed on AliveCor patent tech and if the final ruling also comes to the same finding, then ITC would impose an import ban on Apple Watch.
The tech giant is now appealing the decision and has a favorable ruling from the United States Patent and Trademark Office which invalidated all three patents used by AliveCor and is likely to help it in an ITC injunction because when a patent is invalidated, there can be no claim of infringement of that patent.
In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said:
We appreciate the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s careful consideration of these patents, which were found to be invalid. Apple’s teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users, including the industry-leading health, wellness and safety features we independently developed and incorporated into Apple Watch. Today’s decision confirms that the patents AliveCor asserted in the ITC against Apple are invalid.
Recently, the tech giant also filed a counter-lawsuit against AliveCor over ECG patent infringement.