Reviews - February 7, 2024

Apple loses AliveCor antitrust lawsuit over smartwatch technology

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled in favor of Apple and against AliveCor in a lawsuit over its development of smartwatch technology that detects irregular heartbeats.

Silicon Valley startup AliveCor has accused the Cupertino giant of illegally monopolizing the U.S. market for its heart rate monitoring app for Apple Watch and violating the federal Sherman Antitrust Act and California’s unfair competition law (via Reuters).

Apple convinced a federal judge to dismiss the AliveCor lawsuit, but the decision explaining White’s reasoning is currently being kept secret due to confidentiality concerns.

“AliveCor is extremely disappointed and strongly disagrees with the court’s decision to dismiss our anti-competition lawsuit,” the Silicon Valley startup said in a statement.

Apple said in a separate statement that the lawsuit challenges its ability to improve the Apple Watch that consumers and developers rely on. “Today’s results confirm that it is not anticompetitive,” Apple said.

The amended complaint said AliveCor led Apple to believe it would collaborate on heart-monitoring technology for the Apple Watch, then copied the idea and embarked on an “intensive campaign to dominate the heart rate analytics market.”

The complaint also accuses Apple of “updating” the watch’s heart rate algorithm to prevent third parties from identifying irregular heartbeats and serving competing apps.
AliveCor has developed KardiaBand, a wristband for Apple Watch that can record electrocardiograms (ECGs).

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has denied wrongdoing.

AliveCor is still fighting Apple in a separate patent infringement lawsuit.