AliveCor Praises Apple Watch Ban Amid Its Own Health Tech Patent Dispute With Apple

Health technology company AliveCor has praised the International Trade Commission (ITC)'s ban on sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States.

apple watch ecg wrist
AliveCor, like Masimo, accuses Apple of violating its patents related to heath technology used in the Apple Watch. While Masimo's fight focuses on the Apple Watch's blood oxygen sensing capabilities, AliveCor contends that Apple is in breach of patent with its ECG technology.

AliveCor demonstrated a prototype Apple Watch band with a built-in ECG sensor to Apple in 2015. Apple then unveiled its own built-in ECG technology in 2018 with the Apple Watch Series 4, leading AliveCor to argue that Apple had stolen its technology and request that the ITC bans Apple Watch sales in the United States. AliveCor also initiated an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, alleging that it was making it needlessly difficult for third-party apps to access the Apple Watch's heart rate data.

In a statement to 9to5Mac, AliveCor expressed its support for Masimo and praised the move to ban Apple Watch sales:

This is the second time in less than 12 months President Biden has allowed an International Trade Commission Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to stand against imports of Apple Watches that violate the patents of small U.S. innovators. Earlier this year, AliveCor's patent for its FDA-cleared personal electrocardiogram (ECG) technology was similarly affirmed and we share our support today for Masimo's tenacity in its face off with Apple. Innovator companies and health consumers alike should be encouraged that industry giants are increasingly being held accountable for anticompetitive practices that would ultimately limit access to potentially life-saving technology.

The ITC ruled in favor of AliveCor's patent infringement claims, but the case did not result in a ban on Apple Watch sales as AliveCor hoped. Unlike AliveCor, Masimo argues that Apple actively hired its engineers and key executives to steal technology.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

Sorinut Avatar
8 months ago

POTUS is probably going to regret not vetoing this ban come next November. Silicon Valley and Apple evangelist will make it known.
The President absolutely made the correct decision. This veto power is keep goods flowing vital to the country (national security, military, etc.), not to pat a company on the back for being American. In additon, both companies are American.

Masimo is not a patent troll. They make medical devices, have for years, and have been producing SpO2 sensors longer than Apple has been using them. We use 20-50 of the Masimo sensors daily here at work (hospital). Every single hospital in North America uses their devices...and that's not an exaggeration.

What makes you think the Supreme Court would even take up this case?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
8 months ago

AliveCor also initiated an antitrust lawsuit ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/05/26/alivecor-apple-watch-antitrust-lawsuit/') against Apple, alleging that it was making it needlessly difficult for third-party apps to access the Apple Watch's heart rate data.
Requiring my permission to access my data is not needlessly difficult.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
8 months ago

Well, they’re acting like patent troll. And so far their intention is to kill the competition. If the patent troll wanted to make things work, why did they make initial offer that only benefits them and not both Apple and them?

As for SCOTUS, considering the unbalanced makeup of the judges, they will take the case. They are all about large business and money. And the patent troll company have nothing when it comes to defending themselves in SCOTUS based on how they have acted so far.

Also, Wall Street and Silicon Valley people likely isn’t happy about SCOTUS decision to veto this, and they’ll make sure to let him know that he made the wrong choice on this come November next year.
SCOTUS doesn't veto, or not veto this, the President does. "Silicon valley" doesn't vote for the president, the people do. They (silicon valley) already have waaaaay too much influence, and as far as I'm concerned, can get bent.

Both companies are large businesses. Masimo is a 35 year-old $7-10 billion company with around 10k employees; they aren't as big as Apple, but they aren't tiny. In addition, they are well-liked and respected in the medical devices community; look for several other big medical companies, with very very large pockets, to come to their defense/aid if it makes it that far.

I will say again, they are not a patent troll. A patent troll is a company that holds a patent but never builds, or has any intention, of building a devices based on said patent, but enforces their rights to it.. Masimo produces more of these sensors in a week than Apple does in a year, and have been selling them for longer than the Apple watch has had said sensors. I would have to check, but I think they have been producing them longer than the Apple watch has existed as a whole.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
8 months ago

The President absolutely made the correct decision. This veto power is keep goods flowing vital to the country (national security, military, etc.), not to pat a company on the back for being American. In additon, both companies are American.

Masimo is not a patent troll. They make medical devices, have for years, and have been producing SpO2 sensors longer than Apple has been using them. We use 20-50 of the Masimo sensors daily here at work (hospital). Every single hospital in North America uses their devices...and that's not an exaggeration.

What makes you think the Supreme Court would even take up this case?
Indeed and according to Apples own internal emails which were turned over during discovery, they knew Masimo had what they needed. They considered purchasing the entire company but Tim Cook made the final decision to not buy them and to instead poach as many engineers as needed to replicate their technology.

They even opened a building down the street from Masimo so their employees wouldn't have to uproot their families if they joined Apple.

In this situation, Apple thought they'd get away with it and I'm glad they're not. Don't think for even one second that Apple would let another company do this to them when they infringe an Apple patent, of which Apple files between 5,000 and 9,000 patents per year.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsurf123 Avatar
8 months ago

The President absolutely made the correct decision. This veto power is keep goods flowing vital to the country (national security, military, etc.), not to pat a company on the back for being American. In additon, both companies are American.

Masimo is not a patent troll. They make medical devices, have for years, and have been producing SpO2 sensors longer than Apple has been using them. We use 20-50 of the Masimo sensors daily here at work (hospital). Every single hospital in North America uses their devices...and that's not an exaggeration.

What makes you think the Supreme Court would even take up this case?
There is no medical device company that is well-liked. They have been ripping off insurance companies (ultimately us) since they opened their doors. Charging massive amounts of money for devices as simple as knee braces all the way up to implants and there supposedly never being any economy of scale for production.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
8 months ago

Neither of these companies is a patent troll… Apple is a thieving bully… love their products not their business practices… Apple’s internal motto must be, “we can out litigate any of these tiny idiots!”

So glad Biden didn’t give Apple a pass, as that would have been the wrong message to bullies everywhere. It would have been like saying keep on bullying, stealing and use your position of power to destroy any competition to Tim and his executives.
Masimo is also acting like a bully. People seem to keep ignoring the fact that Masimo has already has several patents invalided and the rest are being review and fact that Apple holds patents for the tech they are using in their watch.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)