AliveCor is accusing Apple of three counts of ECG patent infringement in the Apple Watch, and is seeking to block the importation of all Apple Watches into the US.

The company – which bills itself as “the global leader in FDA-cleared personal electrocardiogram (ECG) technology and services” – has also accused Apple of trying to eliminate the company as a competitor …

The company announced the news yesterday.

AliveCor […] has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging Apple’s infringement of three AliveCor patents. Starting in 2011, AliveCor has invested heavily in bringing advanced, AI-powered cardiological detection technology to consumer users. These investments have produced unique, market changing products including:

KardiaMobile, the most clinically-validated personal ECG in the world; KardiaMobile 6L, the first and only six-lead personal ECG; and KardiaBand, the first FDA-cleared medical device accessory for Apple Watch
SmartRhythm, revolutionary artificial intelligence that continuously evaluates heart activity for signs of arrhythmias.

In December 2020, AliveCor filed a federal lawsuit alleging Apple infringement of the same patents. AliveCor contends that Apple Inc. is infringing AliveCor’s asserted patents through the sale of Apple watches that employ infringing functionality. Filing in the ITC “is one step, among others, AliveCor is taking to obtain relief for Apple’s intentional copying of AliveCor’s patented technology—including the ability to take an ECG reading on the Apple Watch, and to perform heartrate analysis—as well as Apple’s efforts to eliminate AliveCor as competition in the heartrate analysis market for the Apple Watch.”

Patently Apple notes that the complaint seeks to bar Apple from importing the Apple Watch into the US, which would of course block US sales of the device.

The complaint was filed on the same day that Apple brought the ECG feature to the Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6 in Australia and Vietnam as it continues the global rollout of the health feature. Those seeing the feature added for the first time may like to check out our guide to taking an ECG reading on an Apple Watch.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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