Apple defeats AliveCore lawsuit over heart-rate apps for Apple Watch

Apple persuaded a federal judge to dismiss a Silicon Valley startup’s lawsuit accusing it of illegally monopolizing the US market of heart rate monitoring apps for its Apple Watch.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland, California, on Tuesday ruled against AliveCor, which had developed an app to detect irregular heartbeats.

It accused Apple of violating the federal Sherman antitrust law and California unfair competition law.

The decision explaining White’s reasoning is being temporarily sealed due to privacy concerns.

“AliveCore is deeply disappointed and completely disagrees with the court’s decision to dismiss our anti-competitive case and we plan to appeal,” the company said in a statement.

Apple said in a statement that the lawsuit challenges its ability to improve the Apple Watch that consumers and developers rely on. “Today’s outcome confirms that this is not anti-competitive,” it said.

In an amended complaint, AliveCor said that Apple had convinced it that it would collaborate on heart-monitoring technology for the Apple Watch, only to then copy its ideas and “capture the market for heart rate analysis.” Launched a focused campaign.

The complaint also accused Apple of “updating” the heartrate algorithm for its watches to prevent third parties from identifying irregular heartbeats and offering competing apps.

AliveCore developed the CardiaBand for the Apple Watch, which is capable of recording electrocardiogram or ECG.

The Mountain View, California-based company has also developed a Kardia app to analyze ECG readings on the Apple Watch and a SmartRhythm heartrate analysis app powered by artificial intelligence.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has denied wrongdoing, saying competitors have no right to dictate its design decisions.

AliveCore is still suing Apple over separate patent infringement claims.

The case is AliveCore Inc. v. Apple Inc., U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, number 21-03958.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


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