Apple Watches violate AliveCor patents but import ban on hold US ITC

Apple claims it “firmly” disagreed the with ITC ruling but expressed satisfaction that the import restriction had been postponed. The US International Trade Commission confirmed on Thursday that Apple Watches as an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature violates patents held by medical equipment manufacturer AliveCor.

An Us Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in which a panel earlier this month declared AliveCor’s patents invalid, is where the ITC said importation of the infringing watches should be prohibited. However, the ITC said it would not enact a ban until the appeals, in that case, were concluded.

The import restriction will be subject to a 60-day review by the Biden Administration before it is decided whether to veto it on grounds of policy. Each infringement Apple device imported during the presidential review period was subject to a $2 (roughly Rs. 170) bond, which the commission postponed while appeals of a USPTO ruling were being processed.

In the past, presidents seldom ever overruled import restrictions. After the review time has passed, parties may file an appeal against a ban with the US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit.

Apple stated that while it “firmly” disagreed the with ITC ruling, it was happy that the import restriction had been postponed.

The ruling, according to AliveCor CEO Priya Abani, highlighted the significance of intellectual property rights that businesses “whose inventions are at risk of being repressed by a Goliath like Apple.”

It KardiaBand, an Apple Watch attachment that tracks the user’s heart rate, looks for anomalies, and runs an ECG to diagnose cardiac issues including atrial fibrillation, was the subject of three patent infringement complaints from AliveCor against Apple last year.

Based in Mountain View, California After Apple included its own ECG capability in its smartwatches in 2018, AliveCor discontinued selling the gadget. In a statement to the ITC from the previous year, AliveCor claimed that Apple had stolen its technology beginning with the Series 4 Apple Watches, and had driven the company out of business by rendering its operating system incompatible with KardiaBand.

ECG technology is present in Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8. In September, Apple unveiled the most latest Series 8.

Even if AliveCor won, a group of Democratic congressional members had urged the ITC not to impose import restrictions on Apple Watches, most of which are made in China. They did so in support of Apple’s claim that restricting access to the tech company’s heart-monitoring technology would be detrimental to public health.

On December 6, at Apple’s request in such a connected lawsuit, the USPTO’s Patent Appeal and Trial Board invalidated the AliveCor patents. In San Francisco federal court, the tech behemoth has also countersued AliveCor for allegedly violating its patents.

AliveCor has also filed a related patent infringement action against Apple in federal court in Texas. AliveCor has also sued Apple in California federal court for purportedly holding a monopoly on the US market of Apple Watch heart rate monitoring apps.