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.

kardiamobile alivecor
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.

AliveCor and Apple are embroiled in several legal battles, as AliveCor has also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and Apple has sued AliveCor for patent infringement.

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.

Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
7 weeks ago

Good to see Apple actually getting a fair deal after AliveCor used Apples patents. Rushing to market never means you have the right to the patents. Apple takes its time with products (unless it’s the butterfly keyboard), but it never loses the rights of the patents it own and develops.
Where did this rush-to-market narrative come from? AliveCor has been developing handheld ECG products since 1990.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OhMyMy Avatar
7 weeks ago
At least AliveCor isn’t a patent troll.
If only the USPTO could come up with a solution to that problem.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
7 weeks ago
The cases concern technologies that AliveCor originally released as part of the KardiaBand in 2017. The KardiaBand was a high-tech watchband that allowed the Apple Watch to monitor a user’s heart rhythm for abnormalities that might indicate a heart condition. The band also came with built-in electrocardiogram capabilities that allowed the device to take a snapshot of the heart rhythm that could be used to confirm a diagnosis. During development, AliveCor founder and chief medical officer Dave Albert demonstrated the technologies to Apple executives, and Apple released very similar technologies in 2018.

Source: https://www.statnews.com/2022/12/06/apple-alivecor-patent-challenge-ruling/
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
7 weeks ago
There’s something really unlikable about the way Apple’s corporate statements are phrased.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
7 weeks ago

The cases concern technologies that AliveCor originally released as part of the KardiaBand in 2017. The KardiaBand was a high-tech watchband that allowed the Apple Watch to monitor a user’s heart rhythm for abnormalities that might indicate a heart condition. The band also came with built-in electrocardiogram capabilities that allowed the device to take a snapshot of the heart rhythm that could be used to confirm a diagnosis. During development, AliveCor founder and chief medical officer Dave Albert demonstrated the technologies to Apple executives, and Apple released very similar technologies in 2018.

Source: https://www.statnews.com/2022/12/06/apple-alivecor-patent-challenge-ruling/
these technologies are not something that happens in a vacuum. Apple pointed to related patent they filed for in 2012. Just because they demonstrated something to Apple likely hoping to be acquired, doesn’t mean Apple didn’t already have a better solution
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
7 weeks ago
Good to see Apple actually getting a fair deal after AliveCor used Apples patents. Rushing to market never means you have the right to the patents. Apple takes its time with products (unless it’s the butterfly keyboard), but it never loses the rights of the patents it own and develops.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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