Apple accused of boycotting third-party ECGs on Apple Watch

Apple has been accused of illegally monopolizing the market for heart rate monitoring apps on the Apple Watch.

Third-party ECG, Apple Watch

AliveCor, a company that markets the ECG device KardiaBand for Apple Watch, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in May 2021 accusing the Cupertino company of altering the heart rate algorithm to gain an “unfair competitive advantage” over rivals, endangering the lives of AliveCor users .

According to the indictment, Apple’s decision to exclude third-party heart rate analysis providers from the Watch harmed AliveCor and impacted patients and consumers. To accompany KardiaBand, AliveCor has created the application Smart Rhythmwhich uses data from the Apple Watch’s heart rate algorithm to determine when a heart rate is irregular and prompt people to get an ECG with KardiaBand.

KardiaBand received FDA approval in 2017, but in 2018 Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 4 and integrated ECG capabilities with accompanying irregular heartbeat notifications. AliveCor says Apple saw the success of KardiaBand and changed watchOS functionality to sabotage KardiaBand and “entering the heart rate analysis market on Apple Watch”.

According to Reuters, US District Judge Jeffrey White said a few hours ago that AliveCor can take the case to a jury because there are all the conditions to do so: “The actor’s allegations plausibly establish that Apple’s conduct was anti-competitive. »

Apple and its attorneys have yet to respond to the ruling.

Apple and WiLAN, agreement reached

There is also good news on the legal front for the Cupertino company. Apple and WiLAN have indeed signed a patent licensing agreement that will put an end to a series of disputes over iPhone wireless technologies dating back to 2007.

Since the launch of the first iPhone, Apple and WiLAN have been engaged in multiple patent infringement lawsuits and counterclaims. More recently, a 2020 ruling ordered Apple to pay $109 million to the patent aggregator. According to Reuters, however, the two companies have now signed a patent licensing agreement that appears to settle all disputes.

Leave a Comment