It would seem that Apple will not be free from lawsuits anytime soon, as another company added to those that have brought their complaints against the tech giant in court. AliveCor, a medical device company, is now accusing Apple of infringing on three of its patents.
AliveCor alleged in its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Western District of Texas on Monday, that the Apple Watch Series 4's electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality infringes on three patents of the company that relates to using wearable sensors in order to improve cardiac monitoring.
The complaint states that they have patents that are "state of the art in arrhythmia diagnosis." They also explain "the limitations in known diagnostic techniques and diagnostic equipment, and the need for the inventors' improvement in diagnostic techniques and equipment." More particularly, the concerned patents were 9,572,499, 10,595,761 and 10,638,941.
The three patents are geared towards monitoring of irregular heartbeat. The technology in question includes using data from a wearable device, in order to aid users in diagnosing the condition.
AliveCor alleged that the tech giant knows about the three patents. Because of this knowledge, it claimed that it willfully infringed and still continues to do so in its Apple Watch series, particularly the Apple Watch Series 5.
AliveCor makes different cardiac monitoring devices. It is a pioneer in terms of providing an ECG device that received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. The difference between the FDA-approved device and the Apple Watch is that AliveCor's device, known as KardiaBand, needed approval from the user's doctor, while Apple Watch can be used without a doctor's approval.
This is not the first time that a medical company sued Apple. Last January, Masimo, a patient monitoring company, also filed a lawsuit against Apple. It accused the giant of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets. It also alleged in the lawsuit that it steals patented technology in order to improve the health monitoring capabilities of Apple Watch.
In Masimo's lawsuit, it alleged that Apple approached the company in 2013 for a possible collaboration on non-invasive technology that would track heart rate, plus other biometrics. It claimed that after the meeting, Apple quickly hired Masimo's engineers and key management personnel.