Apple Accuses AliveCor of 'Brazen' Patent Infringement in New Countersuit

Apple today filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AliveCor, a company that has developed the ECG "KardiaBand" designed for the Apple Watch, among other ECG-focused products. AliveCor and Apple are already in the midst of a legal battle following an ITC complaint and antitrust lawsuit that AliveCor filed last year

kardiamobile alivecor
According to Apple, AliveCor's product line has not been successful with customers, and the company's "failures in the market" have led it to "opportunistic assertions of its patents against Apple." Earlier this year, AliveCor submitted an International Trade Commission complaint against Apple in an attempt to get an import ban on the Apple Watch, and the judge ruled in AliveCor's favor.

Apple says that while it is appealing the ruling, it is using this new patent infringement filing to "set the record straight as to who is the real pioneer," putting a stop to AliveCor's "rampant infringement that unlawfully appropriates Apple's intellectual property." From the filing:

Apple is the pioneering innovator, having researched, developed, and patented core, foundational technologies before AliveCor came into existence. AliveCor's litigation campaign is nothing more than an attempt to siphon from the success of Apple technologies it did not invent, all the while selling products that rely on foundational ECG innovations that Apple patented years before AliveCor came to be.

The complaint cites several Apple patents related to the heart rate and ECG functionality in the Apple Watch, which Apple says AliveCor's KardiaMobile, KardiaMobile Card, and Kardia app infringe on.

Apple claims that AliveCor's patent infringements are causing Apple irreparable harm, with Apple aiming for a permanent injunction to stop further infringement, as well as damages and legal fees.

AliveCor first filed an antitrust suit against Apple back in May 2021, accusing Apple of "monopolistic conduct" for the launch of the ECG functionality in the Apple Watch. AliveCor claims that Apple saw the success of its KardiaBand and decided to "corner the market for heart rate analysis on Apple Watch."

The company has also filed patent infringement lawsuits accusing Apple of coping AliveCor's cardiological detection and analysis technology.

Apple's full complaint against AliveCor can be read on Scribd.

Top Rated Comments

citysnaps Avatar
9 weeks ago

Easy for Apple to see every app's source code once it's submitted to the app store so Apple can easily steal the concept.
You have proof to back up your accusation against Apple, right?
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chumps52 Avatar
9 weeks ago
Damn, this drama really gets my heart racing.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pezimak Avatar
9 weeks ago
I have to say considering Kardia were on the market way before Apple was, like a good couple of years, I think I’ll side with Kardia. Apple could easily patent anything they like at any time, and it’s not till someone complains that they get called out.
Kardia are also way better as at first they did 2 lead readings I think and now do 6 lead, Apple has stuck to 1 for years now with absolutely no innovation in its ECG reader. Both are accurate, I only use my Apple Watch though but have considered switching to Kardia for its 6 lead readings.

”According to Apple, AliveCor's product line has not been successful with customers, and the company's "failures in the market" have led it to "opportunistic assertions of its patents against Apple."

To be honest that’s just total BS by Apples lawyers, Kardia are hardly a mass market device and are recommended by cardiologists, it’s hardly a mass number who need one, Apple sticking an EKG on EVERY Apple Watch sold since the series 4 tends to give them a dominant advantage in the market that it can abuse as they see fit, like claiming Kardia haven’t been as successful, well if as many people needed Kardia EKG readers as Apple has sold watches since the Series 4, then their would be something SERIOUSLY wrong with the human races health.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joeblough Avatar
9 weeks ago

Easy for Apple to see every app's source code once it's submitted to the app store so Apple can easily steal the concept.

Apple Health is the furthest from innovative- all of the 'health' features in iOS have been around for a decade and were created by big pharma and med. device companies.
you got a source for that claim? i don't think developers have to submit their source code, just the compiled binary.

obviously you can decompile a binary image and there are machine learning techniques that try to reconstruct the source from a binary, but i really doubt you need to turn your source over to apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
9 weeks ago

That’s some stretch, considering Alivecor was founded in 2011, and Apple didn’t launch its ECG in the Apple Watch till 2018.
Tbh, I’m no patent lawyer, but I was just saying what Apple write in their lawsuit. ('https://www.scribd.com/document/611882198/Apple-v-AliveCor-Patent-Infringement-Lawsuit?irclickid=V0xSykyWuxyNRA4yoaxGqytCUkAx2IyF9SYQ2M0&irpid=10078&utm_source=impact&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=affiliate_pdm_acquisition_Skimbit%20Ltd.&sharedid=macrumors.com&irgwc=1')

Page 2 line 16
For example, in 2008, Apple had already developed and filed for patent protection on specific and foundational technologies pertaining to embedded heart rate and electric cardiac activity monitors.

Page 3 Line 15
Founded in 2010, AliveCor's business has focused on the sale of portable ECG devices which rely on numerous technologies in Apple's iPhone and/or Watch to provide ECG information to AliveCor's customers. Rather than develop its technology from scratch, however, AliveCor resorted to including the very technology that Apple created and patented. This was no accident: AliveCor has long known of Apple's patented technology, as many of AliveCor's own patents cite to many of Apple's patented innovations.

I don’t pretend to understand the specific patents, and that’s for lawyers and judge/jury to decide. But they’re making a pretty compelling case, but again, that’s what lawyers do, and I bet Apples lawyers are pretty experienced at that.

I have no idea which way they will go.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pezimak Avatar
9 weeks ago

In the Patent Infringement Lawsuit, Apple state they have had these patents before AliveCor were even a business! It looks like it will come down to whether AliveCor actually developed something new, even though many of their previous products cite Apples own patents.
That’s some stretch, considering Alivecor was founded in 2011, and Apple didn’t launch its ECG in the Apple Watch till 2018.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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