Judge backs AliveCor patent suit that seeks US Apple Watch ban

Posted:
in Apple Watch
An International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has issued an initial finding that says Apple has infringed AliveCor's patented ECG technology -- which could lead to a ban on Apple Watch.




Following its December 2020 filing of a lawsuit against Apple over patent infringement, mobile ECG firm AliveCor also took its case to the ITC in April 2021. Now an ITC judge has backed AliveCor, and has recommended that the International Trade Commission undertakes a review of the case.

"Today's ruling is a strong validation of our IP and underscores that patents matter and even an influential company like Apple cannot simply violate them to stifle innovation," Priya Abani, CEO of AliveCor, said in a statement to AppleInsider. "Since the start, our focus has been on our customers and providing them with strong choices to help monitor their cardiac health, including KardiaBand, the first-ever FDA-cleared ECG device accessory for Apple Watch."

If the full ITC review concurs that Apple infringed on AliveCor's patents, it's possible that imports of the Apple Watch into the US could be barred.

AliveCor also separately filed an antitrust suit against Apple in May 2021, and all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas.

The company further claims that Apple allegedly altered App Store guidelines, and updated watchOS, specifically to make AliveCor's KardiaBands product inoperable. The KardiaBands were the first ECG technology to receive over-the-counter FDA clearance, and did so in 2014, ahead of their launch in 2017.

As noted by AppleInsider in 2018 when Apple Watch first gained an ECG, however, AliveCor KardiaBands required unlocking. Before a user could check their own ECG or EKG using the device, the first reading had to be reviewed by a US board-certified cardiologist.

Apple Watch's ECG did not include such a requirement.

Apple has not commented publicly on the ITC's initial findings.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,316member
    "...all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas."

    Can't patent or control ideas. Be curious as to exactly what they have patented.


    y2anStrangeDaysFileMakerFellerdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    mike1 said:
    "...all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas."

    Can't patent or control ideas. Be curious as to exactly what they have patented.


    Apple just patented a dual monitor stand that someone in their garage could have cooked up on the weekends.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 3 of 7
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    mike1 said:
    "...all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas."

    Can't patent or control ideas. Be curious as to exactly what they have patented.


    Apple just patented a dual monitor stand that someone in their garage could have cooked up on the weekends.
    Before you criticize a patent, find out what is being patented. Design, the materials, recycling process, the manufacturing, ….

    common sense should tell you that something cooked up in a garage over a weekend is highly unlikely to be patentable. At minimum, such would fail the “obviousness” criterion. 

    Intelligent people know the limits of their knowledge. If scientists and engineers who are make their living improving stuff and lawyers who write up the patents for those improvements successfully patent that improvement, you should probably assume it’s you who doesn’t know what their talking about rather than them. 
    y2anStrangeDayswilliamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    y2any2an Posts: 196member
    A useful article would include links to the patents in question. 
    FileMakerFellerapplguydarkvaderbonobob
  • Reply 5 of 7
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,936member
    mike1 said:
    "...all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas."

    Can't patent or control ideas. Be curious as to exactly what they have patented.
    mike1 said:
    "...all its cases center on a claim that Apple copied the company's Apple Watch ECG ideas."

    Can't patent or control ideas. Be curious as to exactly what they have patented.


    Apple just patented a dual monitor stand that someone in their garage could have cooked up on the weekends.
    As noted by milke1, patents are for the implementation, not the idea. You can't patent "flying car", but you can patent how your anti-grav engine works on the flying car you made. Same thing w/ a monitor stand or an ECG...the idea is separate than the detailed implementation. 

    (This is also why software & process patents are bogus, because they're on abstract ideas and not the detailed implementation, which is code, which is already protected by copyright.)
    williamlondonFileMakerFellerbonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    uraharaurahara Posts: 733member
    Well, at least they have a product they produced...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,380member
    Regardless of who is at fault legally, this statement is fundamentally flawed...

    "Apple cannot simply violate [patents] to stifle innovation," Priya Abani, CEO of AliveCor, said in a statement to AppleInsider. "

    The fact that Apple brings this tech to market does the opposite of "stifle" innovation.  Apple enhances and expands that innovation in far more ways than the largely unknown AliveCor ever could.  Settle your silly dispute quickly and move on.  If the Apple Watch is banned or limited in sales because of this ridiculousness, that will stifle innovation in a major way, and AliveCor will be 100% responsible for it. AliveCor cares about credit for the idea and profits from it, not genuine and continuous innovation that betters mankind.
    iOS_Guy80FileMakerFellerbonobobwatto_cobra
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