A federal judge on Monday said Apple must face a Silicon Valley company’s claims it illegally monopolized the U.S. market for heart rate monitoring apps for its Apple Watch, reports Reuters.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said that AliveCor could try to prove that Apple violated federal antitrust law based on its alleged “complete control” over the market for such apps.
The lawsuit, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in 2020, claims that the ECG functionality on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later infringes on its intellectual property related to use wearable sensors to improve cardiac monitoring technology. All three patents in the dispute focus on monitoring for cardiac arrhythmias, or an irregular heartbeat. The patented technology includes the use of data from wearable devices to aid in diagnosing the condition.
AliveCor is a medical device and artificial intelligence company that sells ECG hardware and software for consumer mobile devices. Ironically, the company was the first to receive FDA-clearance for a medical-device accessory to the Apple Watch.
In November 2017, AliveCor announced FDA clearance of its US$199 KardiaBand (pictured above) in the U.S. It allows Apple Watch users to capture their EKG anytime, anywhere in order to quickly detect normal sinus heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common heart arrhythmia.