Apple beats antitrust lawsuit from AliveCor

in Apple Watch

AliveCor filed a lawsuit alleging that Apple changing its heart rate algorithm on Apple Watch was anticompetitive, and it has lost.

The back of an Apple Watch Series 9 laying on a black surface
Apple Watch Series 9

Apple has seen multiple lawsuits surrounding its Apple Watch technologies in recent years, with AliveCor targeting patent law and antitrust. The patent lawsuit concerning ECG technology is still ongoing, but a judge has ruled in Apple's favor for the antitrust case.

In a statement shared with 9to5Mac, an Apple spokesperson shared the results of the antitrust case. Apple will not have to see a full trial to determine if the antitrust allegations were true.

"At Apple, our teams are constantly innovating to create products and services that empower users with health, wellness, and life-saving features. AliveCor's lawsuit challenged Apple's ability to improve important capabilities of the Apple Watch that consumers and developers rely on, and today's outcome confirms that is not anticompetitive. We thank the Court for its careful consideration of this case, and will continue to protect the innovations we advance on behalf of our customers against meritless claims."

The lawsuit centered around Apple updating its algorithm for gathering heart rate data with watchOS 5. It shifted from the Heart Rate Path Optimizer algorithm to the Heart Rate Neural Network.

AliveCor alleged that the algorithm change made its SmartRhythm feature worse and wanted Apple to leave the original algorithm available to developers. Apple said the new algorithm was more accurate and denied the request, leading to the lawsuit.

US District Judge Jeffery White released a summary judgment ruling in favor of Apple. However, details of that decision won't be public until a later date.

Read on AppleInsider



  • Reply 1 of 3
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,115member
    That needs a bit more explanation as to how the algorithm change impacted their application. Was there additional information available from the original algorithm?

    The linked AI article from May 2021 says this "But, as it has done multiple times over the years in other markets, Apple decided that it would not accept competition on the merits," says AliveCor's suit. It says that Apple "suddenly claimed that [previously approved AliveCor app] 'violated' various unwritten App Store guidelines."

    and "AliveCor says Apple then altered App Store guidelines, and even updated watchOS specifically to "suddenly render SmartRhythm inoperable."" implying AliveCor's app wouldn't work at all.

    Maybe they just needed to re-write for the new API?

    edit: yes, "just needed to re-write" is an oversimplification.
    edited February 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 3
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,901member
    Apple must defeat Masimo oxygen sensing patent infringement suit.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    "Hey Apple, all of our revenue depends on your old, less accurate algorithm, so rather than us improving our technology, we demand you spend your time and money to re-implement the inferior one so we don't have to do anything."
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