Apple Wins Lawsuit Against AliveCor in Apple Watch Heart Rate App Dispute

A U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit by startup AliveCor, accusing Apple of monopolizing heart rate apps for the Apple Watch. AliveCor plans to appeal, alleging Apple copied its ideas.

Apple Wins Legal Battle as Judge Dismisses Heart Rate App Monopoly Lawsuit (Image: 9to5Mac)
Apple Wins Legal Battle as Judge Dismisses Heart Rate App Monopoly Lawsuit (Image: 9to5Mac)

AliveCor’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Over Heart Monitoring Apps Dismissed

Judge Rules Against Startup’s Antitrust Claims, AliveCor Plans Appeal

On February 6, 2024, a federal judge in Oakland, California dismissed a lawsuit filed by Silicon Valley startup AliveCor, accusing Apple of illegally monopolizing the US market for heart rate monitoring apps for its Apple Watch.

AliveCor, the developer of the Kardia app and SmartRhythm AI-powered heartrate analysis app, alleged that Apple violated antitrust laws by:

  • Illegally monopolizing the heart rate monitoring app market for Apple Watch.
  • Misleading AliveCor into believing in collaboration on heart-monitoring technology, then copying their ideas and suppressing competition.
  • Updating Apple Watch’s heart rate algorithm to prevent third-party apps from competing in irregular heartbeat detection.

Apple denied all allegations, stating that they have no obligation to collaborate with competitors and their design decisions are not subject to dictation by others.

Court Ruling and Implications

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White sided with Apple, dismissing the lawsuit. However, the reasoning behind the decision remains confidential due to concerns over sensitive information. AliveCor expressed strong disagreement and intends to appeal the ruling.

This case has major implications for the wearables market and app ecosystem within it. A win for AliveCor could have opened doors for greater competition in health-focused app development for Apple Watch. Conversely, Apple’s victory upholds their control over their platform and app store, potentially limiting options for users and developers.

While the antitrust claims were dismissed, AliveCor’s separate patent infringement lawsuit against Apple remains ongoing. The outcome of this case will further shape the landscape of intellectual property rights and competition within the wearables industry.

  • The case is AliveCor Inc v Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 21-03958.
  • AliveCor’s Kardia app allows users to record and analyze ECG readings using the Apple Watch and a compatible accessory band.
  • Apple Watch has its own built-in heart rate monitoring features and has incorporated ECG functionality in recent models.
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