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While the Biden Administration won't overturn the ITC's ruling that the Apple Watch Infringed AliveCor Patents, the victory for AliveCor is a hollow one

1 cover AliveCor

In April 2021, AliveCor filed a complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple infringed on three of their ECG technology patents. In late December 2022, ITC ruled that Apple violated AliveCor's patents.

Today we're learning from Reuters that the Biden Administration has decided not to overrule a U.S. International Trade Commission decision that could block imports of Apple Inc's Apple Watches for infringing AliveCor Inc patents related to heart monitoring, AliveCor said Tuesday.

An AliveCor spokesperson said the office of the U.S. Trade Representative told the company it would not veto the decision. Any ITC ban is still on hold while Apple and AliveCor continue to clash over the patents.

The ITC ruled in December that imports of Apple's smartwatches should be banned for infringing AliveCor's patents, but it placed the ban on pause while related proceedings over the patents run their course. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that the AliveCor patents are invalid earlier that month, in a ruling that AliveCor has said it would appeal.

The White House had 60 days to decide whether to veto the ITC's Dec. 22 ruling based on policy concerns.

Presidential vetoes of ITC import bans have historically been rare. However, the Obama administration reversed a ban on some iPhones and iPads in 2013 in a patent fight between Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, citing its effects on U.S. consumers and economic competition.

AliveCor has separately sued Apple in California federal court for allegedly monopolizing the U.S. market for Apple Watch heart-rate apps, and filed a related patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in Texas federal court.

Apple has countersued AliveCor in San Francisco federal court for allegedly infringing its patents.

While AliveCor is beating the drum loudly in the press that they have a victory with the Biden Administration deciding not to overrule a U.S. International Trade Commission decision that could block imports of Apple Inc's Apple Watches, there's a long road ahead for AliveCor. They must first overturn the US Patent office's invalidation of their patents against Apple and deal with Apple's countersuit.  

For now, it's a hollow victory for AliveCor.

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