Apple Scores Win in AliveCor Legal Battle With USPTO Invalidating Several Patents
The United States Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board today invalidated a trio of AliveCor patents that AliveCor used in a complaint with the International Trade Commission, which is a win for Apple. The patents all related to heart rate monitoring technology used in AliveCor products.
AliveCor in April 2021 filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that Apple had infringed on several of its patents with the Apple Watch, and an ITC judge ultimately ruled in AliveCor's favor in June. The ITC at the time issued an initial determination that Apple infringed on AliveCor patent technology, which Apple is now appealing. If a final ruling determines Apple infringed on the patents, the ITC could issue an import ban on the Apple Watch.
Apple asked for a review of the claims in three of the patents that AliveCor was using against it, and the USPTO's Appeals Board found that multiple claims in U.S. Patent No. 10,638,941, U.S. Patent No. 10,595,731, and U.S. Patent No. 9,572,499 are "held to be unpatenable."
In a statement to MacRumors Apple said that the decision confirms that the patents AliveCor used against Apple for its ITC injunction are invalid.
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.
When a patent is invalidated, it means there can be no infringement of the patent, which will factor in to the final ITC decision. The ITC will decide later in December whether there should be an import ban.
Update: In a statement, AliveCor said that it is deeply disappointed in the decision and plans to appeal.
AliveCor is deeply disappointed and strongly disagrees with the decision by the PTAB and will appeal. The PTAB and ITC are two, separate independent bodies and will make their own separate independent decisions. We look forward to the separate Final Determination from the ITC expected December 12 and are cautiously optimistic based on the Initial Determination for AliveCor in June of this year.
We will continue to vigorously protect our patents for the sake of our customers. The PTAB decision does not impact AliveCor's ongoing business. We will continue to design and distribute our best-in-class portable ECG products and services to our customers.