A federal judge in Oakland, California, ruled in favor of tech giant Apple (AAPL.O) on Tuesday, dismissing a lawsuit filed by Silicon Valley startup AliveCor.
The lawsuit accused Apple of unlawfully monopolizing the U.S. market for heart rate monitoring apps designed for its Apple Watch.
Allegations and Legal Basis:
AliveCor, known for developing an app capable of detecting irregular heartbeats, alleged that Apple violated the federal Sherman antitrust law and a California unfair competition law.
However, due to confidentiality concerns, Judge Jeffrey White’s decision to dismiss the case is under seal.
Response from AliveCor:
AliveCor expressed disappointment with the court’s ruling, stating its intention to appeal the decision. The company emphasized its disagreement with the dismissal of its anti-competition claims against Apple.
Apple countered the allegations, asserting that the lawsuit challenged its ability to innovate and enhance the Apple Watch, which consumers and developers rely on.
The company maintained that the court’s decision affirms its commitment to fair competition and consumer choice.
Allegations of Copying and Market Dominance:
AliveCor claimed that Apple initially indicated collaboration on heart-monitoring technology for the Apple Watch but later allegedly appropriated its ideas and pursued a strategy to monopolize heart rate analysis in the market.
The complaint further accused Apple of altering heart rate algorithms to hinder competition from third-party apps.
AliveCor’s Product Development:
The startup had developed KardiaBand, a wristband accessory for the Apple Watch capable of recording electrocardiograms (ECGs).
Additionally, AliveCor created the Kardia app for ECG analysis on Apple Watches and a SmartRhythm app utilizing artificial intelligence for heart rate analysis.
Apple’s Defense Strategy:
Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, California, denied any wrongdoing and defended its design decisions against allegations of monopolistic behavior by competitors. The company argued that it retains the right to innovate without interference from competitors.
Although this lawsuit has been dismissed, AliveCor continues to pursue separate patent infringement claims against Apple.
The litigation between the two companies remains ongoing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Legal Case Details:
The case, AliveCor Inc v Apple Inc, is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California beneath docket number 21-03958.