AliveCor announced today that the final determination rule on its patent dispute with Apple cleared presidential review.
In December, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that the Apple Watch infringed AliveCor’s patented technology.
Along with its final determination, the ITC issued a limited exclusion disorder (LEO) and a cease and desist order. It set a bond in the amount of $2 per unit of infringing Apple Watches imported or sold during its review period. The LEO goes into effect upon the favorable resolution of appeals in the case. That includes AliveCor’s appeal of a U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision that favored Apple.
Mountain View, California-based AliveCor said in a news release that it marks the ITC’s first LEO against Apple to clear presidential review. The company believes it “sends a strong signal” to companies that AliveCor’s IP is protected within the legal framework.
“We applaud President Biden for upholding the ITC’s ruling and holding Apple accountable for infringing the patents that underpin our industry-leading ECG technology,” said Priya Abani, CEO of AliveCor. “This decision goes beyond AliveCor and sends a clear message to innovators that the U.S. will protect patents to build and scale new technologies that benefit consumers.”
AliveCor said it also expects its antitrust case against Apple in the Northern District of California to go to trial in early 2024.
The timeline of the patent spat
AliveCor sued Apple over the IP for the technology behind wearable AFib detection in 2020. About a year prior, the company stopped selling its KardiaBand for use with the Apple Watch.
Apple already launched its own onboard EKG scanning and AF detection technology on the Apple Watch. In 2021, the FDA cleared an irregular heart rhythm notification on the Apple Watch. The company continues to develop this technology.
The ITC initially took on the dispute in 2021 when AliveCor alleged that Apple violated U.S. tariff law. The allegations centered around the importing of certain Apple watches that infringe patents for its ECG technology.
AliveCor develops AI-powered cardiac care offerings. Those offerings including an FDA-cleared wireless, patchless, six-lead ECG sensor. It also develops an FDA-cleared credit-card-sized personal ECG.
In the aforementioned PTAB win, the board favored Apple against AliveCor’s claims. The board determined that the companies claims around U.S. Patent No. 10,595,731 B2 were unpatentable. PTAB made the determination based on the IP law concept of obviousness.
Masimo has a similar ongoing patent spat against Apple. Last month, a U.S. Administrative Law Judge in Washington, D.C. ruled in Masimo’s favor in the dispute. The U.S. International Trade Commission must now consider whether to implement an import ban on Apple Watches.