In a massive win, Apple has successfully challenged patents at the center of a high- profile disagreement with medical device company AliveCor. TheU.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, on Tuesday decided that three AliveCor patents covering heart monitoring technologies for wearable watches were unpatentable. AliveCor contended in civil court and before the International Trade Commission that Apple had copied the technologies with its Apple Watch, and over the summer an ITC judge set up 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 a rejection order, or import ban, on infringing Apple Watches. It appears to be likely that Apple will fleetly submit the PTAB rulings to the ITC for consideration in its final decision. According to Christine Lehman, a mate at Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg, the ITC may also agree that there's a violation, but may suspend a ban pending re-examination. “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.