In a significant victory, Apple has successfully challenged patents at the center of a high-profile dispute with medical device company AliveCor.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB, on Tuesday ruled that three AliveCor patents covering heart monitoring technologies for wearable devices were unpatentable. AliveCor alleged in federal court and before the International Trade Commission that Apple had copied the technologies with its Apple Watch, and over the summer an ITC judge found that Apple had infringed on two of three patents AliveCor asserted in its complaint.
The decision could disrupt the proceedings at the ITC, which is set to decide by December 12 whether there ought to be an exclusion order, or import ban, on infringing Apple Watches. It’s likely that Apple will swiftly submit the PTAB rulings to the ITC for consideration in its decision. According to Christine Lehman, a partner at Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg, the ITC may still agree that there is a violation, but may suspend a ban pending appeals. “Both the ITC case and the PTAB cases will go to the Federal Circuit – and that court will have to sort it all out,” she said.
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