As noted by AppleInsider, an International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has issued an initial finding that says Apple has infringed AliveCor’s patented ECG technology — which could lead to a ban on the Apple Watch.
Following its December 2020 filing of a lawsuit against Apple over patent infringement, mobile ECG firm AliveCor also took its case to the ITC in April 2021. Now an ITC judge has backed AliveCor, and has recommended that the International Trade Commission undertakes a review of the case.
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.