USITC investigates Apple Watch over patent claims


Alex Baldwin

USITC investigates Apple Watch over patent claims

DenPhotos /

The US International Trade Commission will launch an investigation into Apple over potential infringement of electrocardiogram (ECG) patents by Apple.

This decision was prompted by a complaint filed by AliveCor on April 20, 2021, which alleges that Apple violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act through the import and sale of Apple Watches that the company alleges infringes on its patents.

In the complaint, AliveCor requests that the USITC issues a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

AliveCor was the first company to launch an ECG device, named the KardiaBand, which added heart-monitoring functionality to earlier Apple Watch models prior to the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 4, which featured built-in ECG monitoring.

AliveCor complaint

AliveCor alleges in the complaint that Apple infringed three of its ECG patents. Upon filing the company claimed that this “is one step, among others, AliveCor is taking to obtain relief for Apple’s intentional copying of AliveCor’s patented technology”.

In an announcement on AliveCor’s website, Apple had sought to “eliminate AliveCor as competition” in the heart rate analysis market by including the ability to take an ECG reading and perform analysis in the Apple Watch Series 4.

“AliveCor has invested heavily in bringing advanced, AI-powered cardiological detection technology to consumer users,” the company claimed.

AliveCor is being represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

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Apple, Apple Watches, USITC, ECG, AliveCor, Patent Infringement